85-Year-Old 'Potato Lady' Running for Office

Maybe St. Peters’ ‘potato lady’ should be mayor.

The words above appeared as the headline of a St. Louis Post-Dispatch article Nov. 27, 2005, and could be considered prophetic if not for the fact that the woman in question, Dolores Sherman, isn’t running for mayor.

Sherman, 85, is running for one of two Ward One seats on the Board of Aldermen in St. Peters, Mo., the city in which she says she was prosecuted more than five years ago for a crime she didn’t commit and dubbed, “The Potato Lady.”

A mother and grandmother who owns and operates a seasonal crafts business in St. Peters, Sherman filed for the alderman post late Tuesday morning. During a mid-afternoon news conference the same day, she detailed her belief that St. Peters city officials were involved in her unfair prosecution and other events leading to it and need to be replaced.

“I want to make people aware of what happened to me for an incident that should have never occurred,” Sherman said. “I was railroaded!

“They accused me of throwing a red potato, and I said, ‘I don’t have red potatoes, I have Idaho, six inchers, baking potatoes,'” she continued, recalling a conversation she had Sept. 24, 2004, with two St. Peters police officers who had responded her home after receiving a complaint phoned in by one of Sherman’s neighbors in the suburb 20 miles west of St. Louis. “But they gave me a citation — a peace disturbance, then the city prosecuted me.

“Why does a city, more or less, sue an 80-year-old lady for something they probably knew I did not commit?” she asked rhetorically before comparing St. Peters to a much-larger city.

“If you think Chicago is the only pay-and-play arena, huh-uh,” she said before pointing to tables in front of her and around the room that were covered with stacks of documents she said prove her case. “And if you don’t believe it, just look.”

On March 29, 2005, St. Peters Municipal Court Judge Ronald Brockmeyer ordered Sherman to serve 12 months probation, pay a $125.07 probation fee and pay hundreds more for an anger management class, she explained.

The election for aldermen seats is set for April 5. By then, residents of Ward One should be familiar with Sherman’s tongue-in-cheek campaign slogan: “This spud’s for you!”

Stay tuned for more on this campaign!

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