Best Local Politician

Stephen Conway

With respectful nods to rising aldermanic stars, sometimes you've got to give props to the guy who's been around the block. St. Louis alderman Stephen Conway has been a force in city hall for many years, using bare-knuckle tactics and financial acumen to balance the budget during tough economic times. But while Conway's a CPA, he's no bloodless number cruncher: Last year, after conservative financier Rex Sinquefield spearheaded a multimillion-dollar campaign to force St. Louis to put its earnings tax to a vote, Conway branded Sinquefield as a financial terrorist and the Grinch who stole Christmas — and challenged him to "come and kick our asses." At the end of the day the Eighth Ward alderman came out on top: City residents voted convincingly to keep the tax. After ten years at the helm of the Ways and Means Committee — keeping the ship afloat despite shrinking city revenues — Conway finally ceded his chairmanship in April. His father, James Conway, the 41st mayor of the city, would be proud.

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