Although several attempts were made, we were not able to contact Jeff O’ Connell for an interview and although we spoke to Patrick Brennan and sent him an email invitation for an interview, he declined our offer for an interview.
Democrat, Jake Zimmerman was elected in April as St. Louis County assessor which left the seat in the House of Representatives vacant. The 83rd District takes in parts of the communities of Olivette, University City and Overland.
The Republican and Democratic nominees were selected late August, and a third candidate will run as an Independent. The Democratic candidate is Jeff O’ Connell; while the Republican candidate is Patrick Brennan, and Tracy McCreery will run as an Independent.
This campaign is unique in that it will go on for six short weeks opposed to about ten months in a normal election year.
Tracy McCreery, Independent
McCreery, a Democrat from Olivette, will run for the House seat as an independent because the nominated Democratic candidacy was already taken by O’ Connell.
McCreery, former aide to Senator Joan Bray, said she is running for the House seat because she genuinely believes she is the best candidate. Her ten years of legislative and executive branch experience she gained while working under Senator Bray, coupled with her more than 20 years of experience volunteering and working in the community will allow her to go to work from day one should she win the election.
“I believe voters in this district really want somebody to hit the ground running and be effective quickly,” said McCreery.
McCreery said she will tackle issues that are important to the people she meets when she goes out knocking on doors campaigning such as, the economy and economic development, public education, healthcare, the environment, and numerous social justice issues.
“The beliefs and the things that I care about are deeply held inside of me and I have to stand up and speak out about issues. It really has become a part of who I am,” said McCreery.
She is a strong supporter of equality and equal rights; a founding member of the St. Louis Rescue & Restore Coalition which advocates for victims of human trafficking through public advocacy, training and outreach; a supporter of the Brady Campaign, and a supporter of the National Women’s Political Caucus of Metro St. Louis.
She raises funds for Prison Performing Arts and Missouri Votes Conservation and she is on the board of Missouri Progressive Vote Coalition. She is a board member for the St. Louis County Library Foundation, and a member of the Women’s Group on Race Relations. She is also president of Olivette in Bloom, a community public gardening program in Olivette.
McCreery is endorsed by PROMO and NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri, and the National Women's Political Caucus of Metro St. Louis. She is also endorsed by former state Senator Joan Bray (D-24), former Governor Bob Holden (D), former state treasurer Nancy Farmer (D), and former secretary of state Bekki Cook (D).
“My background as a businesswoman and community activist gives me a unique understanding of issues, said McCreery.”
Jeff O'Connell, Democrat
O’ Connell, a resident of Overland, has raised his family in the community and has lived in the area for two decades. He is the business agent for the Laborers Local 42. He is also a Democratic committeeman for Midland Township and was formerly a member of the Overland City Council. O’ Connell is said to support pro-choice, pro-labor, and pro-equality.
Patrick Brennan, Republican
Patrick Brennan worked in the construction field for 26 years. He states on his website that he is running for the House seat so that his daughter, age seven, has the same opportunities he did. He also states on his website that he believes the country is changing to the point that it is unrecognizable.
Brennan is a supporter of child-centered funding which allows students to use taxpayer money allocated for education to help fund the educational institution of their choice whether that choice is a public, private, or charter school. But, he does not support abortion.
In addition, he also supports several forms of energy security: Renewable energy sources (wind, solar, and geothermal, Nuclear energy), exploration of coal or natural gas mined from Missouri.
In the house side of the Missouri House of Representatives, there are 163 state representatives. Presently, there are about 50 Democrats and approximately 113 Republicans that are in the house.