St. Louis County, MO (KTRS) A familiar figure to the St. Louis area is back in the spotlight.
Former St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch is throwing his hat into the political arena. Before dozens of supporters on Wednesday morning, Fitch officially announced his run for the 3rd. District seat of the St. Louis County Council. The seat is currently occupied by fellow Republican, Councilwoman Colleen Wasinger, who decided not to seek another term.
During his announcement at Twisted Tree Steakhouse in Sunset Hills, Fitch made it clear that he would not accept any campaign contributions.
“I want to stand for integrity in government and one way to do that is not accept campaign contributions.” Fitch said.
“My wife and I decided that would be the only way I would run.” Fitch added.
Fitch said he and his wife, Ruth will fund his campaign. He requested instead of making a campaign contribution, make a donation to the USO. Fitch serves on the advisory board for the USO.
Fitch did not disclose how much he and his wife plan to spend on the campaign. He said he would have a better idea after the August Primary.
Fitch said the Ferguson crisis in 2014 had a role in his decision to run for office.
“There was a prolific tweeter out there by the name of Antonio French, the city alderman. One night during the height of the riots, he put out a tweet that said something like this…if you don’t feel your views are being represented, step up and run for office. I don’t know if he was talking to me at that point, but it struck home with me and I said you know what, my views, our views, and most of the community’s views weren’t represented with Ferguson.” Fitch explained.
Wasinger also influenced the former police chief’s decision to run. It was her suggestion for him to run, “He will give a voice not only for St. Louis County residents, but also police officers. I think he offers a unique perspective on that.”
Fitch said if elected, public safety will be his number one priority.
Although Fitch doesn’t possess a political background, he feels he has the experience to serve effectively.
“I know county government. You can’t work at a place for 31 years and not know it. I did the budget the last nine years I was there and as you know that public safety in county government is almost half of the budget, so I’m very familiar with the budgeting process with county government and how it works, good and bad.” Fitch explained.
Wasinger said running for public office may be what’s next for her, but she would not confirm if that would be the office of St. Louis County Executive.
“That’s been suggested. Time will tell. I don’t have any comment on that yet.” Wasinger stated.
Candidates can officially file for elections beginning on February 27th.