Election 2016

Bruce Franks Jr. speaks to his supporters after finding out he won the Sept. 16 special election for Missouri’s 78th District House seat.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 10:45 p.m. with comments from Franks. -- The second time is the charm for Bruce Franks.

Franks, an activist and small business owner, defeated Penny Hubbard Friday night in a court-ordered re-do Democratic primary in the 78th House District.

78th District Democratic candidate Bruce Franks goes door-to-door earlier this week in support of his bid against state Rep. Penny Hubbard.
Carolina Hidalgo I St. Louis Public Radio

Inside a cavernous office space on Cherokee Street in south St. Louis, Bruce Franks’ die-hard supporters are prepping to go door-to-door for a candidate that’s captured the attention of St. Louis’ political community.

These volunteers are getting pointers on how to hand out door-hangers and convince 78th District residents that Franks is the one to represent them in the Missouri House over incumbent state Rep. Penny Hubbard.

On the surface, the stakes seem low: The winner, assuming they can defeat Republican Erik Shelquist in November, gets a seat in a Missouri House that Republicans dominate.

Bruce Franks talks with Jane Dueker, the attorney for his opponent Penny Hubbard, after oral arguments on Sept. 12, 2016.
Pool photo by Robert Cohen | St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Updated 4:00 p.m. Sept. 13 with comments from Jane Dueker. — ​The  re-vote in the 78th House District is on.

The Missouri Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld a lower-court ruling  that the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners improperly accepted at least 142 absentee ballots, putting the results of the Aug. 2 primary between incumbent Penny Hubbard and challenger Bruce Franks in doubt. Hubbard's attorney, Jane Dueker, said that ruling will not be appealed.

Attorneys for Bruce Franks, Penny Hubbard, and employees with the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners examine absentee ballot envelopes during a court hearing on Sept. 1, 2016.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear arguments Monday afternoon on whether voters in the 78th House District in St. Louis will get a chance to vote again.

Right now, the do-over Democratic primary is scheduled for Friday. It is one of the fastest turn-arounds the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners has ever faced.

Most of the briefs for the case have already been filed, so we've got a sense of what lawyers for incumbent Penny Hubbard and challenger Bruce Franks will say to the appeals court panel.

Jill Stein, Green Party presidential nominee
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein sees a path to victory — or, at minimum, more public attention to her key issues — if the Commission on Presidential Debates will bend its rules and allow her and Libertarian Gary Johnson to join in the presidential debates.

“We’re talking about just four candidates’’ on stage, Stein said, referring to the series of four debates that begin in about two weeks.  Washington University will host one of them, on Oct. 9.

Longtime Republican stalwart Phyllis Schlafly said Donald Trump is "a choice not an echo," which references her long-ago support of Barry Goldwater.
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is headlining a growing list of party dignitaries likely to attend Saturday’s funeral here of conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly.

Relatives say that Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, and former Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., also are expected. Both were “very close friends’’ with Schlafly, said daughter Anne Cori. Other expected attendees include Republican National Committee chairman Reince Preibus.

The mass is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. at the Cathedral Basilica in the Central West End. Visitation is underway at the Kriegshauser Mortuary-West Chapel until 8 p.m. tonight.

Wikipedia

Two percent.

That’s the most realistic, and important, objective of the Missouri Green Party as it prepares for Saturday’s rally in St. Louis featuring the party’s presidential nominee, Dr. Jill Stein.

Win or lose, the state party stands to gain if Stein or another Green Party candidate collects at least 2 percent of the Missouri vote. The gain? Automatic ballot access.

Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence speaks to a crowd of supporters at a Chesterfield DoubleTree on Tuesday afternoon.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Buoyed by the latest polls, Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence exuberantly told local supporters that Americans are embracing Donald Trump’s message of change.

Speaking before a packed ballroom Tuesday in Chesterfield, Pence sought to promote Trump’s personality as well as his policies. “He’s a distinctly American leader,” Pence said, with a soft chuckle. “He is his own man and he’s a doer, he’s a builder. He’s a doer in a game usually reserved for talkers.”

Attorneys Erwin Switzer (back left) and Al Johnson (back right) listen to Gov. Jay Nixon on Sept. 6 as he introduces them as the chair and secretary of the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners.
Bill Greenblat | UPI

Gov. Jay Nixon has cleaned house at the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners, four days after a judge found its employees responsible for absentee ballot problems that led him to schedule a new election  in the 78th House District.

Nixon replaced Democratic chairwoman Joan Burger, a retired judge, with Democrat Erwin Switzer, an attorney and a former member of the now-defunct St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners. Republican Al Johnson, also an attorney, replaces the Republican secretary Andrew Schwartz, who owns an adhesives company. 

Bruce Franks in court on Sept. 1, 2016.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 6:45 p.m. with comment from Dave Roland. - A St. Louis judge has ordered a re-do in a state House race marred by allegations of problems with absentee ballots.

Judge Rex Burlison set the new Democratic primary in the 78th House District for Sept. 16, the earliest date allowed by state law. The 78th covers a swath of eastern St. Louis, from just north of downtown to near the Anheuser-Busch brewery.

Doug Moore, a reporter with the st. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The contested 78th House District race between Rep. Penny Hubbard and Bruce Franks came back into the spotlight this week as the first days of testimony about irregularities in the absentee ballots took place in front of Judge Rex Burlison in a downtown St. Louis courtroom.

Mike Pence
Gage Skidmore | Wikipedia

Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence will hold a rally Tuesday afternoon in Chesterfield, as part of the GOP ticket's first Missouri campaign swing.

Pence is also scheduled to hold a town hall meeting Tuesday morning in Springfield, Mo.

The Chesterfield event will be held 1:30 p.m. at the Doubletree hotel. Admission is free to the public, but tickets are required. They can be obtained on the GOP presidential ticket’s website.

Jason Kander speaks at the Missouri Democratic Party's annual dinner, the Truman Dinner, at Busch Stadium.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio | File photo

Missouri’s already nationally watched contest for the U.S. Senate is getting swept into the St. Louis region’s latest spat of vote-related woes — including the current court fight over absentee ballots cast in the Aug. 2 primary for a legislative seat whose boundaries are within the city of St. Louis.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., has been running a TV ad that seeks to tie those controversies to how his Democratic rival, Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, has performed his job. Blunt also has raised general questions about Kander’s performance during his recent campaign stops.

Kander has pushed back.

Judge Rex Burlison (center) listens to attorneys on the first day of a trial to determine if there will be a new election in the 78th House District.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

On Aug. 5, 2016, incumbent state Rep. Penny Hubbard, D-78th District, beat challenger Bruce Franks by 90 votes. Her entire margin of victory came from absentee ballots.

Franks and his attorney, Dave Roland, sued in an an effort to force a new election, arguing that irregularities in the absentee ballots made the results invalid.

Rep. Shamed Dogan
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome back state Rep. Shamed Dogan to the program.

The Ballwin Republican represents a portion of western and southwestern St. Louis County. He is seeking his second term in the Missouri House in his GOP-leaning state House district.

Legal Roundtable Panelists
Kim Oswalt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Monday, St. Louis on the Air’s Legal Roundtable returned to discuss pressing legal issues of the day.

We were joined in studio by:

  • William Freivogel, J.D., Professor, School of Journalism, Southern Illinois University – Carbondale
  • Jennifer Joyce, J.D., St. Louis Circuit Attorney
  • Mark Smith, J.D., Associate Vice Chancellor of Students, Washington University

Here are some of the issues they discussed:

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump points to protesters that he tells to "get out," during his speech at the Peabody Opera House in St. Louis on March 11, 2016.
Bill Greenblatt I UPI

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has tapped two veteran GOP operatives to head up his state operation.

Aaron Willard, who has held several key posts in the Republican-controlled General Assembly, is Trump’s new state director. Todd Abrajano, a consultant with similar GOP ties, is to serve as Trump’s communications director.

Bruce Franks, center, walks with supporters to the St. Louis  courthouse to file an official challenge to his state House primary contest on August 17.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

A candidate who lost the Democratic primary for a Missouri House seat in north St. Louis has officially asked for a re-do.

The incumbent in the 78th District, Penny Hubbard, beat Bruce Franks on Aug. 2 by about 90 votes — a margin of victory that came solely from absentee ballots. Franks won among those who voted in-person on election day.

Brian Boucheron I Flickr

Missourians are slated to vote on a constitutional amendment that would ban sales taxes on services.

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander certified the measure, known as Amendment 4, last week for the Nov. 8 ballot. The relatively short amendment says:

"Daisy" is one of the most famous political ads ever used.
Wikimedia Commons

In our weekly "Behind the Headlines" segment, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh discusses the top news stories that caught St. Louisans’ attention this week, with the people who produced them and contributed to them.

This week, we discussed political ads and their impact on elections with Saint Louis University political science professor Ken Warren. 

There are four main types of political ads these days, Warren said: introductory, stances on issues, true negative ads and false negative ads. False negative ads usually make the most impact. 

Rachel Lippmann, Dave Robertson and Jason Rosenbaum broke down what happened in Missouri's Aug. 2 primary and gave context behind each race on Wednesday's <i>St. Louis on the Air</i>.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The results of Missouri’s primary are in and there were some pretty big surprises on city, county and state levels.

In November, Eric Greitens (R) will be facing off against Chris Koster (D) to become Missouri's next governor. Former Cass County prosecutor Teresa Hensley won the Democratic nomination for attorney general and she'll be facing off against Republican candidate Josh Hawley this fall. For more results and analysis of state-wide races, read this.  

Ah, Friday. Fri-yay, as some have come to call it. And this is not any Friday—it happens to be a Friday that also marks the end of presidential convention season.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to discuss the winners, losers and what exactly you should take away from the Democratic and Republican National Conventions… from a Missouri perspective. Jason has been reporting from the Democratic National Convention and spent significant time with the Missouri delegation this week.

Balloons drop on the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

PHILADELPHIA – There’s a decent chance Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign could greatly impact Martin Rucker II’s professional career.

The former Mizzou football star is running as a Democrat for state representative in the Kansas City area. Since he’s running in a district that’s not exactly a sure thing for Democrats, Rucker will probably need strong showing from people higher up the ballot to help him out.

Joel Goldstein recently published “The White House Vice Presidency: The Path to Significance, Mondale to Biden.”
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The news is in: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are the Republican and Democratic candidates to become the 45th president of the United States of America. They’ve also chosen their running mates: Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, respectively.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, Saint Louis University law professor and vice presidential expert Joel Goldstein joined us to dissect Pence's and Kaine’s experience, what they bring to the table and answer your questions about the role of the future vice president in this election season.

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine waits by the stage on Thursday as U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill prepares to introduce him. Kaine was the guest speaker at the Show Me State's Democratic National Convention breakfast.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

PHILADELPHIA – Democratic vice presidential hopeful Tim Kaine may have departed from Missouri a long time ago. But for U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, the Virginia senator still retains Show Me State sensibilities.

McCaskill expressed her enthusiasm almost immediately after Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton picked him as his running mate. Not only was she excited that an alum of the University of Missouri-Columbia was getting his time in the sun, but also the fact that a “good guy” was getting his due.

U.S. Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota, left, and Kansas City Mayor Sly James were the keynote speakers to the Missouri delegation at the Democratic National Convention.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

PHILADELPHIA – For Kansas City, Mo.,  Mayor Sly James, gun violence isn’t a philosophical exercise or a buzzword.

The Democratic official told members of the Missouri delegation at the Democratic National Convention that he often goes to crime scenes where a person has used a gun to kill someone. Often, James said he sees people who are “prostrate on the ground because they’re so grief-stricken.”

Members of the Missouri House have a different perspective than Missouri senators on ethics.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Many districts in St. Louis and St. Louis County are drawn to be heavily Democratic or Republican. Thus, when a seat opens up, the August primary can be most competitive election for eight years.

The victors in these “primary-are-the-election” races will face different realities in Jefferson City, depending on their political parties. Republicans could get a chance to handle big-ticket legislation and move up in leadership. Since they’re a super-minority, Democratic winners will have fewer opportunities to influence the legislative process. But often times, they can provide a counterpoint to the GOP supermajority.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill reads a prepared speech off her smartphone as she casts Missouri's delegate votes at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

PHILADELPHIA – U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill admitted that she cast Missouri’s votes at Democratic National Convention with a bit of emotion.

Missouri’s senior senator was given the honor of announcing how the Show Me State was divvying its delegates. It was part of a roll call vote that made Hillary Clinton the first female presidential candidate of a major party.

Michael Brown's mother, Lezley McSpadden, listens on March 5 as attorney Daryl Parks announces the family's intent to sue former police officer Darren Wilson and the city of Ferguson for her son's death.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI | File Photo

PHILADELPHIA – Michelle Argento may be living proof of the vast impact of Michael Brown’s shooting death.

Argento lives in Gillette, Wyo., a 30,000-person town in the middle of the Mountain West. The Bernie Sanders delegate paid close attention to what happened in Ferguson – and added that it showcased a need to overhaul America’s criminal justice system.

Jo Mannies, Rachel Lippman and Dave Robertson discussed Missouri's Aug. 2 primary and answered listener questons on July 26.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Next week, Missourians will go to the polls in their Aug. 2 primaries.  A week before the primaries, three guests joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to discuss what issues and positions you should keep an eye on.

St. Louis Public Radio reporters Rachel Lippmann, who is covering the city primary, and Jo Mannies, who is covering the statewide primary, broke down what you need to know with the help of UMSL political science professor David Robertson.

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