Jill Schupp | St. Louis Public Radio

Jill Schupp

Rebecca Smith, St. Louis Public Radio

The 2014 mid-term election is over, but its impact on local and state politics could be long lasting.

That’s because Republicans  -- who were already in firm control of the Missouri General Assembly – expanded their numbers in the House and Senate in part because they were able to crack the Democrats'  once-sturdy strongholds in Jefferson County, southeast Missouri and northeast Missouri. In St. Louis County, Republicans also came close to electing a county executive for the first time since 1990 when Democrat Buzz Westfall ended 28 years of GOP control over the office.

Jill Schupp at her victory party Tuesday night.
Rebecca Smith | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Democrats took a beating on Tuesday in contests for the Missouri General Assembly, losing even more ground in the Missouri House and Senate — including a hotly-contested race for a vacant Jefferson County Senate seat.

A bright spot for Democrats was in St. Louis County, where State Rep. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur, narrowly won a hard-fought contest for the 24th District Senate seat.

St. Louis Public Radio aired the first public debate between two candidates for St. Louis County executive, Democrat Steve Stenger, left and Republican Rick Stream (right).
Rebecca Smith | St. Louis Public Radio

It’s somewhat instinctual for Missouri political reporters to describe every election as decisive, critical or groundbreaking. And to be fair, it’s not an unnatural impulse – since every Show Me State election year for the past couple of decades has featured a competitive statewide, U.S. Senate or presidential contest.

This year, though, state Auditor Tom Schweich likely won’t lose to his Libertarian or Constitution Party opponents, and the Missouri House and Senate will remain firmly in Republican hands. And there's no U.S. Senate contest.

File photo | Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis area is home to Missouri’s arguably most competitive – and expensive – state Senate contests on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Both state parties, and their allies, have been pouring money into the battles for the 22nd District and 24th District seats. The 22nd District is in Jefferson County, while the 24th stretches across a large area of central and west St. Louis County.

The 24th District pits state Rep. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur, versus Republican attorney Jay Ashcroft.

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio

This week the Politically Speaking podcast crew welcomes Jill Schupp, the Democratic candidate for the state Senate in the 24th District.

The 24th District, which takes in a large area of central and west St. Louis County, is considered a politically swing district. As a result, the contest betweeen Schupp and GOP candidate Jay Ashcroft  is seen as one of the state’s few legislative districts up for grabs on the Nov. 4 ballot. The post is currently held by Republican John Lamping, who is retiring.

Jill Schupp at a recent campaign event with Gov. Jay Nixon
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon appears to be offering more political assistance to fellow Democrats competing for seats in the General Assembly, after years of embracing a lower campaign profile that even concerned some within his own party.

Tuesday night, Nixon stopped at a Democratic fundraiser in Frontenac to offer up a rousing endorsement of state Rep. Jill Schupp’s quest this fall for the state Senate in the 24th District, which takes in much of central St. Louis County.

Jay Ashcroft
Provided by campaign

Jay Ashcroft isn't exactly a stranger to the political process. After all, his father ran for -- and, numerous times, won -- congressional and statewide offices during his lengthy tenure in Missouri politics.

But the son of former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft admitted he was a bit nervous waiting to see if he emerged victorious in a three-way GOP primary for a St. Louis County-based state Senate seat. He said his "stomach was in knots" until he found out he had won. 

"It was really humbling," said Ashcroft in a telephone interview. 

(via flickr/jimbowen0306)

Jay Ashcroft’s life is steeped in politics, even if he’s never run for political office before.

That may help explain why the son of a Republican icon is already airing TV ads for a state Senate contest that, on paper, leans Democratic. 

Ashcroft is among three Republicans competing in the Aug. 5 primary for the right to challenge the sole Democrat, state Rep. Jill Schupp of Creve Coeur, in the fall.  Also running is Libertarian Jim Higgins.

(via flickr/jimbowen0306)

Any doubts about the political stakes for St. Louis County’s open 24th District state Senate seat should be squelched in the next few weeks, as many of the state’s biggest political players – politicians and donors -- are jumping in on behalf of their parties’ favored contenders in this fall's election.

The bipartisan crowd also signals that the district, which takes in much of mid-county from Creve Coeur to Chesterfield, is deemed now to be politically swing turf up for grabs.

Entrance to Normandy High School campus
Google Maps screen capture

 The Missouri House has passed an amended version of a Senate bill designed to lessen the impact of the state's student transfer law.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Senate and Missouri House have both passed bills to ban sales of electronic nicotine delivery devices to minors.

House Bill 1690 and Senate Bill 841 would both limit the sales of these devices, sometimes called e-cigarettes, to consumers 18 years old and older, and both versions would not subject the devices to  regulation or taxation as tobacco products. 

Courtesy of Jay Ashcroft

While Jay Ashcroft, the son of former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, was always interested in politics, he also said he didn’t consider it “the highest calling.”

“My highest calling in life is to be a good husband to my wife and to be a good father for my kids," said the attorney and engineer from unincorporated St. Louis County. “In the last couple of years when I’ve seen how government has been working at the state level and unfortunately not always working, I kept coming around to the conclusion that I need to be part of the solution.”

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to next year's state budget -- after spending most of Tuesday on amendments to the FY 2015 budget, including two attempts to expand Medicaid.  Both failed, and both were sponsored by state Rep. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

House budget writers have passed Missouri's state budget for Fiscal Year 2015, which begins July 1.

The roughly $28 billion spending plan still includes a funding increase for the state's K-12 schools, which would be around $122 million if projections by House and Senate Republican leaders turn out to be correct.  If Gov. Jay Nixon's rosier revenue picture turns out to be correct, then K-12 spending would increase by $278 million.

Medicaid expansion blocked again

Entrance to Normandy High School campus
Google Maps screen capture

The Missouri House has passed a supplemental budget for the current fiscal year.

Updated 3:23 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17

State Sen. John Lamping, R-Frontenac, has yet to say if he’s running for re-election this fall, in what could be the region’s top legislative contest.

But his campaign money could be speaking for him. He has very little.

Meanwhile, his Democratic challenger — state Rep. Jill Schupp of Creve — has raised a lot.

The latest campaign-finance reports for the two, filed this week, show that Schupp raised more than $108,000 during the past three months. She now has $261,202 in the bank.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Beacon.

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio’s Chris McDaniel joins the St. Louis Beacon’s Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum to talk about the week’s politics.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: As she launched her bid for the state Senate, Democrat Jill Schupp sharply condemned the Republican-controlled General Assembly as being “nearly dysfunctional’’ and “off-the-wall extreme” – which she asserted made it more crucial that outnumbered Democrats begin to snatch back power.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: State Rep. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur, is planning to announce June 13 that she will seek in 2014 the 24th District state Senate seat now occupied by Republican John Lamping.

Lamping, R-Ladue, has yet to say if he’s running for re-election.

Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio

Tax Day can be a tough time for anyone, but it’s especially hard for seniors facing rising personal property taxes on a fixed income. That’s according to some local lawmakers who are asking the state to give seniors a break.

State Representatives Jill Shupp and Scott Sifton are pushing two bills in Missouri’s legislature to help seniors:

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