One was once a candidate for statewide office, the other a high-profile member of the Missouri state senate. Now, Cole McNary and Jane Cunningham are the sole candidates for the relatively obscure and low-paying job on the board of the Monarch Fire Protection District.
The election is April 2 and both candidates are already getting a little nasty in their campaign for the open seat on the board, according to an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Both are from Chesterfield and they're the only candidates left in the race for a six-year term.
The newspaper quotes Cunningham referring to McNary as "the union candidate" and warning: "You don’t want the union bosses picking who their boss will be."
In turn, McNary, who was the GOP candidate for state treasurer in the November election, told the Post that he met with firefighters in the district, and "they don’t want her,” while denying that he has any special connection to the union.
For his part, Monarch Fire Chief Tom Vineyard told the newspaper there was "head-scratching going on here" over the high-profile candidates.
The fire district has been involved in controversies in recent years over excessive spending on legal bills, a bitter legal fight over a gender-related hostile work environment and the suicide of a battalion chief in the wake of that judgment and his firing.
The board position pays $200 per meeting; the district covers parts of Chesterfield, Ballwin, Creve Coeur, Wildwood and Maryland Heights.