Entries in St. Louis (4)


Lacy Clay Jr. Ousts Russ Carnahan in St. Louis Redistricting Battle

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ST. LOUIS) -- Rep. Lacy Clay, Jr. won the primary fight over St. Louis on Tuesday, emerging without much of a scar from the political ring of his newly-merged district.

Clay defeated neighboring Democratic Rep. Russ Carnahan in a battle between two prominent political family names in the Show Me State.

In 2001, Clay took over the principal St. Louis City congressional district from his retiring father and Missouri’s first African-American representative, Bill Clay, Sr.  Carnahan, the son of former Gov. Mel Carnahan and former Sen. Jean Carnahan, who filled her late husband’s seat when he defeated John Aschcroft posthumously after his death in a plane crash weeks before the 2000 election, has represented South St. Louis and surrounding areas since 2005.

Thanks to redistricting and Missouri’s loss of a House seat following the 2010 Census, the two were thrust into a fight for the newly conglomerated district encompassing the heart of St. Louis’ metro area, mostly comprised of Clay’s present turf.

The campaign saw its share of racial dynamics and negative campaigning.  Clay, who is black, represents predominantly black North St. Louis; Carnahan, who is white, represents predominantly white South St. Louis.

In mailers, Carnahan accused Clay of ties to the rent-to-own industry.  On TV, Clay accused Carnahan of voting against Medicare.  Both courted black voters with radio ads featuring funk or hip-hop/Afrobeat music.  Clay sent “sound trucks” through the city blaring his campaign song, according to a campaign consultant.

In the end, Carnahan wasn’t much of a threat: With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Clay led 63 percent to 23 percent.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Political Scions Face Off in St. Louis Redistricting Matchup

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ST. LOUIS) -- On Tuesday, St. Louis will be a re-election Thunderdome for two political scions.  Two men will enter; one man will leave.

Democratic Reps. Russ Carnahan and Lacy Clay, Jr. will square off for the whole of the city, which they’ve shared in Congress for almost a decade, in a primary contest foisted upon them by 2012′s congressional redistricting -- a process that has already pitted Democrat against Democrat in a handful of districts around the country.

The contest is replete with racial dynamics (including two fund-driven radio ads), negative politicking and two of Missouri’s biggest political family names.

Carnahan, the grandson of Rep. Albert Carnahan, is the son of former Gov. Mel Carnahan and former Sen. Jean Carnahan, who filled her late husband’s senate seat when he posthumously defeated Republican John Aschcroft after dying in a plane crash weeks before the election.  Since 2005, Russ Carnahan has represented a district that includes the southern half of St. Louis and extends into rural areas along the Mississippi.

Clay is the son of former Rep. Bill Clay, Sr., Missouri’s first African American representative, who served in Congress from 1969-2001.  Since 2001, William Lacy Clay, Jr. has represented his father’s district, which includes North St. Louis and much of the northern metro area.

Now, the two are vying in Tuesday’s Democratic primary for Missouri’s newly combined First District, encompassing mostly Clay’s territory, with Carnahan’s South St. Louis neighborhoods and a few southern suburbs thrown in.  Gone are the rural and exurban stretches.

Under the new 2012 map, black and white St. Louis will now share a representative in Congress.

Carnahan, who is white, has represented more predominantly white South St. Louis, while Clay has represented predominantly black North St. Louis. Since 2005, they’ve shared representation of St. Louis along rough demographic lines that have held for decades.

Carnahan is courting Clay’s African American base with a minute-long radio ad that samples William DeVaugh’s “Be Thankful for What You’ve Got” and a deep-voiced narrator who says, “For Russ, fighting for our families has never been about who’s black or who’s white.  He’s all about what’s wrong and what’s right.”

The ad is running on St. Louis’ urban stations, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.  Carnahan has also blanketed the city with mailers that accuse Clay of ties to the Rent-to-Own industry.

Clay, for his part, has advertised his ”backbone” against the “hatin’ Tea Party” over turntable scratches, a hip-hop/Afrobeat line, and a chorus of “La-cy Claaay!” in a radio ad featuring the voices of his father and former Olympian and East St. Louisan Jackie Joyner Kersee.

Clay’s campaign has sent trucks through St. Louis neighborhoods blaring a two-and-a-half-minute version of the ad, according to a Clay consultant.  ABC News verified that over the weekend, a white sedan with Clay decals rolled through St. Louis’ Central West End neighborhood, blasting music with its windows down.

The two congressmen are reliable Democratic votes, although Clay is more liberal.  In National Journal’s latest vote rankings, Carnahan clocked a liberal rating of 70.5, while Clay came in at 93.3.

Whoever wins will almost certainly represent the heavily Democratic city in next year’s Congress.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Christie Not Running for President, Says Spokesman

Governor's Office/Tim Larsen(CLAYTON, Missouri) --  A spokesman for New Jersey Republicans shot down speculation that Chris Christie might reconsider and jump in the presidential race.

“Governor Christie is flattered that his accomplishments in New Jersey have received so much support from voters across the country but nothing has changed with regards to the Governor’s decision not to run for President in 2012,” according to a statement from Rick Gorka, New Jersey’s GOP spokesman.

Back in April, Christie told ABC’s Diane Sawyer he did “not feel ready in his heart to be president.”

But while the New Jersey Republican party sought to tamp down on the speculation, one top New Jersey Republican, former Governor Tom Kean, fueled it on Monday.

“It’s real,” Kean said, according to National Journal. “He’s giving it a lot of thought. I think the odds are a lot better now than they were a couple weeks ago.”

The speculation, despite Christie’s repeated promises that he would not run, brought new attention to a weeklong cross-country GOP fundraising swing that kicked off Monday with a private event at a Ritz-Carlton just outside of St. Louis.

Outside the hotel a small group of about 20 union protesters gathered momentarily before Christie’s arrival, chanting “Just say no to Christie’s lies, defend our right to organize.” But they quickly dispersed after only a matter of minutes.

With multiple entrances to the hotel, Christie was not seen making his way into the Ritz Monday. The hotel’s management enlisted the help of the Clayton Police Department to make sure that no members of the media so much as stepped on the sidewalk in front of the Ritz.

As ABC News has reported, sources close to Christie have said that “the pressure from donors and other people has intensified” and the “volume of calls” urging Christie to run have increased, but that “nothing has changed” since he insisted he would not run in April.

After three events in the St. Louis area Monday and Tuesday -- all closed to reporters -- Christie will head to California before wrapping up his whirlwind tour later this week in Louisiana.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Karl Rove, Claire McCaskill Spar Days After Rove's Ads Air Against Her

Tom Pennington/Getty Images(ST. LOUIS) -- Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Republican strategist Karl Rove bumped into each other at the St. Louis Airport Monday afternoon, just 10 days after Rove launched an ad campaign targeting the senator.

“Just gave Karl Rove a wave & friendly hi in St Louis airport. Even tho he's up on TV distorting my record, still wanted to show good manners,” McCaskill, D-Mo., tweeted Monday afternoon.

Rove replied about an hour later, tweeting “Saw @clairecmc @ St Louis airport -- she waved but wasn’t happy. Must be @crossroadsgps ads on her bad votes/broken promises 2 cut spending.”

The ad was part of a $20 million ad buy from Crossroad GPS, a conservative group linked to Rove. The 30-second spot opens with a clip of McCaskill saying, “The debt is a real problem. The deficit is a real problem.”

Then a narrator says, “Oh really senator? You voted for skyrocketing debt, the failed stimulus and Obamacare.”

McCaskill is one of five Democratic senators targeted by the Crossroads GPS ads. The group unveiled Monday that it will target 10 House Democrats in a new buy that totals $1.4 million. The ad aims to negatively impact public perception of Democrats’ stance on the debt and deficit.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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