Jo Mannies

Political Reporter

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter.  She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

Ways To Connect

A voter enters Our Lady of Guadalupe School on election day in Ferguson.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Democrat Kevin O’Leary has won his campaign for the 6th District seat on the St. Louis County Council, replacing now-County Executive Steve Stenger and retaining their party's 5-2 seat edge.

The contest, like so many others around the region, appeared to hinge on organization to counter a low turnout. With most of the county's votes counted, pre-election estimates appeared correct: Only 16 percent of the county's voters showed up at the polls.

State Rep. Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia
Bram Sable-Smith I KBIA

This week’s Politically Speaking breaks some new ground. Through the magic of radio, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies joined with KBIA’s Bram Sable-Smith to interview state Rep. Caleb Rowden.

The Columbia Republican and Rock Bridge High School graduate was first elected to the Missouri House in 2012. Rowden had a somewhat unconventional road to Missouri state politics: He was a successful Christian rock musician before running for a vacant House seat in 2012.

File photo

(Updated 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 7)

In low turnout elections, organization matters.

The victors often are the ones who have the best crews of volunteers to pound on doors, circulate the fliers and make the phone calls needed to persuade their identified supportive voters to show up.

State Rep. Stacey Newman, D-Richmond Heights
Marshall Griffin I St. Louis Public Radio

The Politically Speaking podcast team of Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcomes state Rep. Stacey Newman, D-Richmond Heights, to this week's show.

Newman, whose 87th district includes some of the region’s most affluent suburbs, discusses at length her ongoing role in two of the state’s most controversial topics:  gun rights and photo IDs at the polls.

Newman’s district includes all of Clayton and parts of Ladue, Richmond Heights and Webster Groves, as well as Washington University and Fontbonne University.

Jo Mannies/St. Louis Public Radio

Ordinarily, candidates for governor would go out of their way to publicize a major fundraising event that attracted 400 people.

But not so Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, the state’s only major Democratic candidate for governor, who opted to quietly hold the $500-a-couple (and up) gathering this week at the Renaissance Grand hotel downtown.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill at a hearing at Washington University with more than a dozen experts in medicine and geriatrics 3/31/15
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

As U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill sees it, the Missouri General Assembly will be sharing more of the blame as the state’s medical professionals find it more difficult to provide the services and funding needed to care for Missouri’s growing elderly population.

Jefferson County Police Capt. Doug Shoemaker talks with the press Tuesday.
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Before shooting himself, Spence Jackson, spokesman for the Missouri auditor, tried to make clear why he was ending his life.

Wrote Spence in a note: "I'm so sorry; I just can't take being unemployed again.”

The note was dated "3-27-15" at the top.

His words were made public Tuesday by Jefferson City police Capt. Doug Shoemaker, who disclosed the preliminary results of the probe into Jackson’s apparent suicide.

Three seats on the Ferguson City Council will be up for grabs on April 7. Eight candidates are running for the spots, including four African-Americans.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

A coalition of community organizations and unions out to revamp the Ferguson City Council are planning a door-to-door effort over the next 10 days to woo voters to back the group’s favored candidates on April 7.

Missouri governor's office

While in Europe, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon’s trade entourage has held a lot of meetings, but so far has yet to strike any deals.

That was the message in the governor’s progress report, delivered via a telephone call Wednesday from Munich in Germany.

(via Flickr/lowjumpingfrog)

What if you held an election and hardly anyone showed up?

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