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“Ding-dong! The witch is dead.” Okay, technically he’d be a warlock and he isn’t dead, but Carl Bearden isn’t running for re-election in district 16 in St. Charles. If any politician deserves for a tornado to drop a house on him, it’s Bearden. First of all, he’s just flat mean. If he doesn’t agree with your policies, he looks for ways to make your life miserable and to humiliate you in public.

Maybe that’s why, when Chuck Gross resigned his senate seat in St. Charles last May, the Senate leadership gave Tom Dempsey instead of Bearden the nod to run in September’s special election. And when that happened, Bearden looked at his options: He’d be termed out after next November, and he had a good lobbying job offer on the table now–from, in effect, Rex Sinquefield, who will be the number one customer at the new lobbying firm paying Bearden multiple times his former State Representative salary.  

Be glad Bearden’s gone.  He’s not as nutso on crotch issues as Cynthia Davis, but he’s in that direction, not to mention being very fond of handing out public money to developer friends, including Paul McKee.

What Jake Zimmerman recently said about Jim Lembke applies equally well to Bearden and the Republican who’ll run in his place:

And suddenly you don’t have the hard-working creature of Satan, who’s been there for, like, six years, you’ll have some new creature of Satan, who nobody really knows who they are yet.

Indeed, nobody really knows who the Republican candidate, Mark Parkinson, is yet. He has no community service on his resume and only one job in politics: he worked for Kit Bond.  He’s  thirty-five and recently married–not much of a family man and his only work experience is in politics.   Those kinds of credentials aren’t what voters are looking for in their local state rep. Voters prefer to elect family men with more at stake in their neighborhoods and community.

They’ll get those kinds of credentials in the Democratic candidate. Tom Fann, who has his own business as an Allstate insurance representative and is a family man with three small children, one in elementary school and two in preschool. His wife, Jennifer, works for AT&T and is a union member. Tom himself, when he worked at a Dodge dealership, was also a union member. He has lived in St. Charles County for twenty years.

Those are all pluses on his side. But, like Parkinson, Fann has not held elective office. He ran for an aldermanic seat in St. Peters in 2004 and lost to an incumbent. On the score of previous elective office, then, they’re even.

It was Fann’s failed run for aldermanic office that brought him to mind when the local Dems were casting about for a candidate to run in the special election for Bearden’s seat. He wasn’t the only person they considered, but he was eager to do it when they gave him a shot at it, and he’s been working hard. He’s raised more money so far than any Democratic candidate in that part of the state has raised in several years.

Fann’s campaign literature stresses restoring health care to poor children and seniors, fair funding for schools instead of excessive property taxes, economic policies that will create quality jobs, and penalizing employers who hire individuals illegally.

There’s nary a word about abortion in his literature, but he won’t come out as a pro-choice candidate. His unwillingness to step up on that issue will cost him the support of Pro-Vote, and that could hurt him.

Still, he’s got a real shot at winning. He’s been provided with a full time campaign manager and received lots of support and manpower from Democratic reps and from the state party. The campaign’s been up against the weather and the busyness of the holiday season, but the for the next 5 1/2 weeks, they will be hitting the streets in the 16th to excite the voters and to send a message that Democrats CAN win in St. Charles County.

Jake Zimmerman recently pointed out: “And if Fann wins, whammo, we have the power of incumbency in that district.” That would be good news. If you live anywhere near St. Charles and you’re willing to pound the pavement to get our guys elected, you could get warmed up for the year by helping out Tom Fann.