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ST. LOUIS, MO — Incumbent Steve Stenger narrowly defeated Mark Mantovani to win the Democratic primary to likely keep his job as St. Louis County Executive. Without a well-known Republican challenger looming in the fall, the Democratic primary turned into the de facto election for the post.

The ballot tally late Tuesday night was so close that it fell somewhere within one percent of the vote. Steve Stenger garnered 91,487 votes while Mark Mantovani had 90,330. St. Louis County authorities said recounts are ordered for local races when the result is within one percent, but the loser has to request a recount.

It appears that the Mantovani campaign will not be requesting a recount. But, they want the Election Board to certify the results.

The Mantovani campaign issued this statement Wednesday afternoon:

“Please be advised of the following: With respect to yesterday’s County Executive election, currently it is not our intention to contest the election. We’ve been advised that there are uncounted and outstanding provisional ballots that currently exceed the current difference between the Stenger and Mantovani vote totals. Under those circumstances, it is probably necessary and appropriate to allow the normal statutory election procedures to be completed and allow the Election Board to certify the results according to its normal procedures. Mark Mantovani has great confidence in the Election Board and its leadership and he does not wish to extend the uncertainty associated with the election, but customary election procedures have to be carried out-as they would be anyway. Mark also wanted to make certain that we thank our many loyal supporters who have stood with him to create change and improve the quality of government in St. Louis County.”

The Republican primary saw Paul Berry III defeat Daniel Sampson for a spot on the November ballot, joining Libertarian candidate Nick Kasoff and Constitution Party candidate Andrew Ostrowski.