2018 Missouri elections | St. Louis Public Radio

2018 Missouri elections

St. Louis County Councilman Ernie Trakas, R-South St. Louis County, speaks to reporters on Sept. 18, 2018.  A judge ruled that Trakas did not violate a charter provision against governmental employment when he did legal work for school districts.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

A St. Charles County judge ruled that a St. Louis County councilman did not violate a prohibition against working for a government agency.

The decision means that Councilman Ernie Trakas can remain on the St. Louis County Council — an outcome the south St. Louis County Republican said he expected.

House Republicans talk during the last day of the legislative session. May 17, 2017
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

A Cole County judge ruled Friday that a bid to overhaul the state’s ethics and state legislative redistricting laws contained too many subjects — and therefore can’t appear on the November ballot.

Proponents of the Clean Missouri initiative are appealing the ruling. But the clock is ticking for judges to make a final decision.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and Attorney General Josh Hawley spoke in the St. Louis area on Aug. 30, 2018.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Once again, Republicans are raising questions about U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill’s personal finances – or rather, those of her husband, wealthy businessman Joe Shepard.

But this time, she’s accusing her GOP critics of being hypocrites because they’re not making the same demands of President Donald Trump.

Her Republican rival, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, contends that McCaskill wants to hide her family’s “dark-money’’ finances.

Missouri 2nd Congressional District Democratic candidate Cort VanOstran
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Cort VanOstran joins St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies to talk about his Democratic bid in Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District.

VanOstran is squaring off against Republican Congresswoman Ann Wagner, a Ballwin Republican who has represented the 2nd Congressional District since 2013. The district includes parts of St. Louis, St. Charles and Jefferson counties.

Onlookers watch as Air Force One lands at St. Louis Lambert International Airport in March 2018.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo I St. Louis Public Radio

There’s one person who will affect Missouri’s U.S. Senate race more than a pointed attack ad or dumptrucks full of money: President Donald Trump.

Both U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and Attorney General Josh Hawley believe he’ll make an impact in their nationally-watched contest.

The question, though, is who will benefit?

Gov. Mike Parson greets students at Ranken Technical College during a day-long tour of St. Louis on Sept. 7, 2018.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin joins Jason Rosenbaum to talk about Gov. Mike Parson’s decision to call a special session.

The GOP chief executive wants the legislature to pass two bills he vetoed dealing with expanding STEM education and drug courts. Unlike previous special sessions, lawmakers of both parties agree with the ideas — and could approve the new legislation in fairly short order.

Missouri state Sen. Bob Onder, R-Lake Saint Louis
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri state Sen. Bob Onder joins St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Rachel Lippmann to talk about Gov. Mike Parson’s transition in the state’s chief executive office — and what the legislature could deal with in 2019.

The Lake Saint Louis Republican represents a portion of St. Charles County. He’s running for re-election against Democrat Patrice Billings.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley speaks to GOP volunteers on Aug. 31, 2018, in Imperial, Mo.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

GOP Senate candidate Josh Hawley is pushing for a major overhaul of the earned income tax credit, one of the federal government’s most popular programs aimed at helping the working poor.

In an interview with St. Louis Public Radio, Hawley said he wants to instead deliver a wage boost directly in the paychecks of low and moderate income workers.

Kali takes a swim at the Saint Louis Zoo.
File photo | Véronique LaCapra | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County residents will decide in November whether to spend more tax money to bolster the St. Louis Zoo.

The proposal would help spruce up the world-class attraction and build a new breeding facility and potential adventure park in north St. Louis County. But backers will need to convince county voters to raise the sales tax when some surrounding areas don’t directly contribute to the zoo.

Attendees listen as President Donald Trump speaks at a Granite City Works warehouse. July 26, 2018
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Rachel Lippmann round up some of the week’s biggest developments in the 2018 elections.

One of the topics Rosenbaum and Lippmann take a look at this week is President Donald Trump’s aluminum and steel tariffs — and how they may affect Missouri’s U.S. Senate contest.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and Attorney General Josh Hawley spoke in the St. Louis area on Aug. 30, 2018.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Both of the major candidates for Missouri’s U.S. Senate seat were in the St. Louis area on Thursday, seeking to emphasize issues that will help their cause in November.

For McCaskill, Thursday’s topic was her support for a minimum-wage hike and opposition to right to work. Hawley zeroed in, once again, on Brett Kavanaugh’s pending nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

State Sen.-elect Brian Williams
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Brian Williams joins St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Rachel Lippmann to talk about his big win in the 14th Senate District Democratic primary.

Williams will represent the central and north St. Louis-based district once the Legislature reconvenes in 2019. The 14th District includes municipalities such as Clayton, University City, Ferguson, Hazelwood, Northwoods and Bridgeton.

Jefferson Barracks cemetery
File photo | Mary Delach Leonard I St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 7:30 p.m. with council action on charter amendment veto

The St. Louis County Council took a big step Tuesday toward expanding Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.

The plan involves selling more than 33 acres of the roughly 70-acre Sylvan Springs Park to the federal government, which could prevent Jefferson Barracks from running out of room.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., speaks to a group of people representing Missouri manufacturing and agircultural interests on Aug. 27, 2018.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill continued her criticism of President Donald Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs, which she says could do lasting economic damage to Missouri’s agriculture and manufacturing economies.

At a meeting Monday in St. Louis, the Democratic senator heard from companies and agricultural-commodity groups affected by the tariffs as Trump announced a trade deal with Mexico.

Nick Kasoff
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Libertarian Nick Kasoff joins Politically Speaking to talk about his bid for St. Louis County executive.

Kasoff is one of four candidates running in the Nov. 6 election. They include incumbent Democratic County Executive Steve Stenger, GOP challenger Paul Berry III and Constitution Party nominee Andrew Ostrowski.

President Donald Trump arrives at St. Louis Lambert International Airport to attend a fundraiser for GOP U.S. Senate hopeful Josh Hawley.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

This week’s Politically Speaking zeroes in on how President Donald Trump will affect Missouri’s election cycle — particularly U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill’s re-election bid against Attorney General Josh Hawley.

On the surface, Trump should benefit Hawley — especially because the GOP chief executive won Missouri by nearly 19 percentage points in 2016. Missouri’s public opinion polls show his approval ratings hovering around 50 percent. But Trump has faced a torrent of controversy this week with the Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen court proceedings.

State Rep. Karla May, D-St. Louis
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

State Rep. Karla May joins Politically Speaking to talk about her ouster of Sen. Jake Hummel in Missouri’s 4th Senate District.

May is a four-term Democratic lawmaker who represents a portion of western St. Louis in the Missouri House. Her roughly 5,000-vote victory — 20,204 to 15,137 — over Hummel was arguably the biggest statehouse surprise in the Aug. 7 primary. If May wins in November, she will represent St. Louis with Sen. Jamilah Nasheed. It would mark the first time that two African-American women have represented the city in the Missouri Senate. The 4th District also includes a small part of St. Louis County. 

The St. Louis County Council approved three charter amendments earlier this month. One would provide the council with more authority over the county budget.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger is panning an effort to give the County Council more budgetary authority.

If Stenger vetoes the measure, the council is prepared to override the Democratic chief executive — setting up a showdown at the ballot box later this fall.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill speaks at a campaign event on Friday, August 17, 2018, in Ferguson.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Friday’s edition of Politically Speaking explores three different storylines to watch as candidates and campaigns ramp up for the November election.

The first one that St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies tackle is U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill’s upcoming meeting with Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s latest pick for the U.S. Supreme Court. Both sides of the political spectrum are pressuring McCaskill on how to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination, which comes as she runs against GOP Attorney General Josh Hawley.

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger confers with Councilman Pat Dolan at a Dec. 19, 2017, meeting of the St. Louis County Council.
File Photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis County Council isn’t finished changing up the county’s charter.

Council members on Monday sent four charter amendments for voter approval. The measures stem from an increasingly adversarial relationship between the council and St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger. They’re slated for the Nov. 6 general election.

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