(KMOV / AP) -- St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley has conceded defeat to county councilman Steve Stenger in a Democratic primary, ending his 11 years in charge of the state’s largest county.
Dooley delivered a concession speech to supporters shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday, followed by a Stenger victory declaration 30 minutes later. Stenger advances to a November general election against the winner of a Republican primary between state Rep. Rick Stream of Kirkwood and Green Park Alderman Tony Pousosa.
The Democratic race was a bitter one, with both sides running negative TV ads. Stenger had accused Dooley of mismanagement and corruption, while Dooley accused Stenger of not paying taxes and representing a sex trafficking king pin in court.
Dooley was appointed county executive following the death of Buzz Westfall in 2003. He won a special election in 2004, then was re-elected in 2006 and 2010.
Stenger will compete against State Representative Rick Stream, the Republican nominee, for St. Louis County Executive in the November election.