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Ald. John Pellerito first made known the possibility of his challenging St. Louis County Council Chairman, Joe Brazil, for his seat in a comment published just recently on this blog.
(Please see the comments following the article on the mogasp blog “2011-11-28 Patch: St. Charles County Council to Consider Smoking Ban Monday Night Smoke-free bills appear deadlocked at 3-3 ..” where Pellerito wrote, regarding St. Charles County Council’s reluctance to support smoke-free air:
“I will try to change that if I am elected to the council.” )
Today’s story (below) by St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter, Mark Schlinkmann, fleshes this out:
BY MARK SCHLINKMANN • firstname.lastname@example.org > 636-255-7203 | Posted: Tuesday, December 6, 2011 6:35 pm | Comments (4 as of December 6, 2011, 10:37 pm)ST. CHARLES COUNTY • Some political fallout from last week’s County Council smoking ban rejection may be a looming Republican primary challenge for Council Chairman Joe Brazil.
Lake Saint Louis Alderman John Pellerito said Tuesday he’s “98 percent sure” he’ll run against Brazil for his 2nd District seat in the primary next August.
Pellerito sponsored the Lake Saint Louis ordinance passed last year that bans smoking in restaurants, bars and most other enclosed public places in that city.
Brazil is a staunch opponent of government-imposed smoking bans and voted last week against a bill to put a countywide prohibition on the Nov. 2012 ballot. That bill failed on a 3-3 tie vote.
“That would definitely be a contentious issue” between them, Pellerito said.
And if a petition drive to put the issue on the ballot fails to materialize, he quipped, “I’d probably be the next best weapon.”
Brazil, meanwhile, said he’s confident he’ll win re-election next year and said his stand against a smoking ban has widespread support among his constituents. Besides Lake Saint Louis, the district includes the county’s large semi-rural southwest corner.
“They don’t want all the government and all the intrusions,” said Brazil, of Defiance. “They don’t want people telling them ‘no smoking’.”
Brazil said he doesn’t like smoking himself but believes businesses should have the right to decide whether to allow it. He also says a ban would hurt veterans groups.
Pellerito said he’s been considering running for the county body for a couple of years and that he’d also talk about other issues. He added that he’ll first run for re-election as alderman in Lake Saint Louis’ April municipal election.