ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. ( -- St. Louis County is the most populated county in Missouri and ranks in the top 50 in the country.

Over the past couple years, corruption and the coronavirus pandemic has weighed on the county's top office.

In 2019, Dr. Sam Page was appointed St. Louis County executive after Steve Stenger resigned following an indictment on federal fraud charges.

Stenger is now serving a 46-month sentence in his pay-to-play scheme.

Page sat down with News 4’s Cory Stark about his plans for the next two years if elected.

“We have to move and start addressing the biggest problems in our community and have to have some conversations about race relations in our community. We have to talk about public safety,” said Dr. Page.

Along with those issues, Page continues to focus on the coronavirus pandemic.

At many times, his decision-making has been questioned and criticized as he's shut down businesses, schools and athletic activities.

The long-time anesthesiologist says his decisions have been based on science, data and medical experts. He has no regrets.

“St. Louis County is in a better place than the rest of the state because of the sacrifices we've made, and I think we'll find out that most people in St. Louis County agree with that,” said Page. 

Data shows cases and hospitalizations are increasing in the county just like the rest of the state.

“The hospitalizations are going up in St. Louis County in large part due to patients coming in from other parts of Missouri because their hospitals are now at capacity and we're going to take care of them in St. Louis County like we always had,” explained Page.

If elected in November, News 4 asked Page if people should expect more restrictions.

“I think they should expect us to continue to watch what is happening and make decisions based on recommendations from our public health experts and our medical community,” he said.

“We have to start with what we do best. We have a very vibrant plant and life science facilities and generating new research all the time. We have an opportunity to look at market applications of that research, that's why we are number two in the country in start-ups and we have to continue to nurture the start-up environment and make sure  we are supporting that,” said Page on St. Louis County’s economy.

Page's Republican opponent, Paul Berry, has not responded to News 4's numerous requests for an interview. But we do know some things about him.

Berry's never held a political office and has lost races for county executive and the U.S. House. He's previously worked as a bail bondsman and a TV host.

[RELATED: Sam Page's opponent sues St. Louis County over athletics policy]

But most notably, he has a long history of legal problems.  News 4 has reported on numerous lawsuits filed against Berry by landlords dating back to 2003. Judgements in those cases total more than 52 thousand dollars.

Most recently, a $14,000 judgement was ruled against him after the Associated Press sued Berry and his media company this year. 

Copyright 2020 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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