Politics & Issues | St. Louis Public Radio

Politics & Issues

Hawley stands in front of his traveling debate trailer, parked Wednesday in St. Charles.
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

With their nominations in the bag, it’s now “game on’’ for Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and her Republican rival, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley.

Even as Tuesday’s vote-counting was wrapping up, McCaskill and Hawley each issued calls for debates leading up to the Nov. 6 election.

Both also sought to frame their contest as one pitting a person of the people against a rival who’s out of touch.

Celestine Buford, a cousin of Louis Payton, said jail officials have not told her family about the details surrounding Payton's death at the St. Louis Medium Security Institution.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

UPDATED at 12:35 p.m. on Aug. 20 with statement from St. Louis Medical Examiner's Office saying the autopsy would take eight to 15 weeks.

Jail-reform advocates are calling conditions at St. Louis' Medium Security Institution into question again after a man collapsed there and later died at a hospital last week.

Police are not identifying the inmate. But a group of people who say they are the former inmate’s relatives told media and local activists the man’s name is Louis Lynn Payton.

Wesley Bell celebrates with his supporters at La Mexicana in St. Ann on August 7, 2018. He drew on a broad coalition of voters to beat Bob McCulloch 57 percent to 43 percent.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Wesley Bell’s victory in the Democratic primary for St. Louis County prosecutor demonstrated an ability to construct a broad coalition of support while also turning out voters in traditionally African-American areas of the region.

Bell, who beat seven-term incumbent Bob McCulloch by 17 percentage points Tuesday, will be the first African-American to hold the post.

Illinois Republican Congressman Rodney Davis, left, and Ivanka Trump discuss workforce development in Godfrey on August 8, 2018.
Shahla Farzan | St. Louis Public Radio

First Daughter Ivanka Trump made a public appearance in the Metro East Wednesday morning to highlight the importance of preparing young people for technical careers.

Trump, who serves as an advisor to the president, participated in a roundtable discussion on workforce development at Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey. The discussion focused primarily on apprenticeships and training opportunities for jobs that don’t require a four-year college degree, such as welding or plumbing.

The Rev. Carlton Lee, right, speaks at a rally in 2014 with Michael Brown Sr., left, and Lezley McSpadden, center.
File Photo |Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Forward Through Ferguson has called for improvement in several areas to establish greater racial equity within St. Louis.

The non-profit released its first The State of the Report scoring where the region is on the 47 signature calls to action first identified by the Ferguson Commission in 2015. The latest report found that all 47 priorities have experienced some level of implementation, but only five of those had been achieved.

Reporters Jo Mannies, Rachel Lippmann and Jason Rosenbaum pose for a photo moments before joining Don Marsh on the air to talk about election results.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with three St. Louis Public Radio reporters about the results of Tuesday’s primary election in Missouri.

Joining him for the discussion were reporters Jo Mannies, Jason Rosenbaum and Rachel Lippmann.

St. Louis County executive candidate Mark Mantovani was defeated by incumbent Steve Stenger on Tuesday by about 1,100 votes. Mantovani has not yet decided whether to seek a recount, Aug. 8, 2018
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Democrat Mark Mantovani is holding off on conceding the St. Louis County executive’s contest.

Mantovani is trailing St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger by less than 1 percentage point. While emphasizing that he’s not planning to contest the election, Mantovani says “uncounted and outstanding provisional ballots” exceed the difference between the two candidates. 

Wesley Bell, candidate for St. Louis County prosecutor, votes at First Presbyterian Church in Ferguson on Tuesday morning. Aug. 7, 2018.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

If Missourians proved anything on Tuesday, it’s that they aren’t predictable when it comes to how they vote.

Less than two years removed from endorsing President Donald Trump and a slate of GOP statewide aspirants, voters overwhelmingly repealed the party’s signature policy, right to work, from the law books. But instead of backing candidates that won the blessing of organized labor groups, St. Louis and St. Louis County voters decided to go in very different directions.

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger speaks with reporters after winning the Democratic primary for county executive.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger likely is headed toward re-election, after a razor-thin victory over businessman Mark Mantovani in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.

“Today’s victory shows that voters believe we are moving St. Louis County in the right direction,” Stenger said during his late-night victory speech.

But Mantovani had yet to concede; he lost by roughly 1,100 votes. His campaign said it would release a statement Wednesday. He will also look at the implications of what it means to ask for a recount.

Wesley Bell, who defeated the longtime St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch, addresses an exuberant crowd at La Mexicana in St. Ann on August 8, 2018.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

In a stunning upset, Wesley Bell easily beat longtime St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.

With no Republican running, Bell’s primary win essentially clinches the office, which will make him the first African-American to hold the St. Louis County prosecutor’s post.

David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Missourians turned out to the polls Tuesday to reject the right-to-work measure, while St. Louis County voters ousted longtime St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch in favor of Wesley Bell and voted by a narrow margin to retain incumbant Steve Stenger for County Council executive.

St. Louis Public Radio has collected results for many of the key races in the St. Louis region. 

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Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley addresses the crowd in Springfield, Missouri, after winning the GOP primary for U.S. Senate on August 7, 2018. He will take on Claire McCaskill in November.
Jennifer Moore | KSMU

GOP Attorney General Josh Hawley and U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill easily won their respective Missouri primaries on Tuesday, setting up a Senate showdown in November that will gain national attention.

And voters in St. Louis-area congressional districts decided to keep U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay in office — and selected Cort VanOstran to square off against GOP Congresswoman Ann Wagner.

Hawley ended up defeating 10 other candidates in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate. He’ll face McCaskill, a two-term senator who easily won her primary against six opponents.

Mike Louis, the president of the Missouri AFL-CIO, declares victory in defeating Proposition A on August 7, 2018 at Sheet Metal Workers Local 36.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri voters rejected the right-to-work measure on Tuesday, delivering a big blow to a priority of the GOP-controlled legislature and powerful business groups.

It’s the second time in the last 40 years that Missourians defeated the policy, which bars unions and employers from requiring workers to pay dues as a condition of employment.

In the other statewide contest on Tuesday’s ballot, Saundra McDowell bested three other Republicans to take on state Auditor Nicole Galloway.

Candidate signs outside a polling place in St. Louis' Shaw neighborhood on August 7, 2018.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Here's how tonight's live blog is going to work. We'll update this post with the latest numbers, insight from our reporters in the field, and other interesting tidbits we see along the way. The feed is in reverse chronological order, which means the newest information will be at the top of the post. Scroll down to see all our earlier coverage.

Flickr Creative Commons | Mike Mozart

A lawsuit heard Tuesday in Jefferson City would remove a referendum from the November ballot to gradually raise Missouri’s fuel tax by 10 cents a gallon.

The proposal was added onto a bill passed this year that created a tax deduction on Olympic medals for athletes living in the state. The bill was also amended to include the creation of a fund that would be used to eliminate “bottlenecks” along major trucking routes. It’s due to be listed on the ballot as Proposition D.

Women meet at Sharpshooters Pit & Grill to learn about guns and practice shooting on the range.
Ashley Lisenby | St. Louis Public Radio

Tamyka Brown was perfecting her shot. Her target sheet, riddled with bullet holes, showed she knows what she’s doing. When asked about her time on the gun range, Brown responded with a smile.

“Great. It went great,” she said. “Like, I want to go again, but I think I’ma pass and come back next Thursday.”

Brown comes to the range with her husband often. But on a recent Thursday in July she was bonding with other women of color at Sharpshooter's Pit and Grill over guns and targets.

David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

The fate of Hanley Hills will be decided Tuesday when residents vote to remain independent or become an unincorporated part of St. Louis County.

The measure was placed on the ballot after a former trustee, Thomas Rusan, collected hundreds of residents’ signatures this spring. The village, with 20 streets and about 2,100 residents, is sandwiched between Vinita Park and Pagedale.

A voter's guide to the Aug. 7 primary

Aug 6, 2018
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Ahead of the Aug. 7 primary election, we've compiled a list of key races, with links to our in-depth reporting, in addition to other resources to help inform your vote.

Union members gathered at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Hall on Aug. 8, 2017, to notarize and turn in petitions to force a statewide vote over Missouri’s right-to-work law.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On the surface, the purpose of Tuesday’s primary is only to select candidates who will run in the November general election. But in reality, the results could resonate for years to come.

That’s because Missouri voters will decide whether to retain the right-to-work law, which bars unions and employers from requiring workers to pay dues as a condition of employment. And in the St. Louis region, prevailing in the Democratic primary is often tantamount to election — especially in state legislative and local contests.

St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden speaks to residents at Clinton-Peabody Public Housing Complex on Friday, Aug. 3.
Wiley Price | St. Louis American

Bobbi Len Taylor Mitchell-Bey's children were killed at the Clinton-Peabody housing complex in south St. Louis more than a year ago.

On Friday, she asked federal and local law enforcement officials to find out who killed them, and others.

“I’m trying to ask about all the unsolved murders out here,” she said, during a meeting at Peabody Elementary School. “‘Cuz I done lost two children down here. Not saying they was the best of kids, but they weren’t bad, so what y’all doing about that?”

Mitchell-Bey was among a couple of dozen residents of Clinton-Peabody who attended the meeting to demand better policing and better access to city services and resources.

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