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Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Jason Kander speaks at a labor rally in St. Charles earlier this fall. Kander is squaring off against U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt this November.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

It’s a dreary, rainy day in Troy, Missouri, and Jason Kander is about to meet a small group of veterans at the Roasted Bean Coffee Shop. In a weird, parallel universe, the 35-year-old Democrat would be stumping for his second term as secretary of state. But Kander’s aiming higher and is focusing his time and energy on trying to unseat U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt.

Few national pundits believed Kander’s gambit would be worthwhile. They looked at presidential results and polls, and concluded (wrongly) Missouri was just too Republican for a Democrat to prevail. But Kander never bought into that type of assumptive prognostication. And now, Kander is within striking distance of being a building block for his party’s return to power in the U.S. Senate.

Republican Mike Bost, left, and Democrat C.J. Baricevic are the main party candidates for the Illinois 12th Congressional District seat.
Campaign photos

On  Oct. 27, residents of the 12 counties of Illinois’ 12th Congressional District will get their only chance to watch the candidates face off. Lindenwood University-Belleville will host the debate among Republican Mike Bost, Democrat C.J. Baricevic and Green Party candidate Paula Bradshaw.

August 2014 St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Sam Dotson
File photo | UPI

The decision by St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Sam Dotson to run for mayor without resigning his current post isn’t a very popular one.

Sen. Eric Schmitt
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Eric Schmitt, the GOP candidate for Missouri treasurer, joins St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies for the latest Politically Speaking podcast.

It’s Schmitt’s fourth appearance on the show.

Schmitt, a state senator from Glendale, faces Democrat Judy Baker on Nov. 8. Baker also has been featured on Politically Speaking.

Teresa Hensley and Josh Hawley are the Democratic and Republican candidates for Missouri Attorney General.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, we heard from Missouri’s Democratic and Republican candidates for Attorney General: Teresa Hensley and Josh Hawley. The two interviews are excerpted from earlier Politically Speaking podcasts conducted by St. Louis Public Radio political reporters Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum.

You can read more about each candidate here:

Sen. Scott Sifton, D-Affton, listens as fellow senators thank each other for their work.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

State Sen. Scott Sifton knows a thing or two about high-stakes elections.

The Affton Democrat took part four years ago in the most competitive legislative race in the state against incumbent Sen. Jim Lembke. A lot more was on the line than just flipping the 1st District Senatorial seat: Lembke and Sifton were divided on a host of key issues, and Sifton’s victory gave the smallish Democratic caucus more firepower to achieve their agenda.

As he runs for re-election in a district that’s been historically close, Sifton sees similarly high stakes in his contest against Republican Randy Jotte. But it’s over an issue in which he and Lembke found agreement: “right to work.”

The candidates for lieutenant governor are Republican Mike Parson, left, and Democrat Russ Carnahan.
File photos | St. Louis Public Radio

For the first time in 12 years, someone besides Peter Kinder will be lieutenant governor of Missouri.

Kinder jumped into the governor's race and lost in a crowded Republican primary, coming in third in a contest won by Eric Greitens. The major party candidates on the Nov. 8 ballot are Democrat Russ Carnahan and Republican Mike Parson.

The Great America PAC, a super PAC supporting Donald Trump, is airing a TV ad encouraging his supporters to express their worries about a rigged election.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has been warning his supporters for weeks that the 2016 election is rigged.

It's a claim that Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander calls "unfair" to local election authorities. The Illinois State Board of Election said in a statement that "allegations of a 'rigged' election are completely unfounded."

St. Louis Public Radio asked area election officials what keeps them up at night two weeks before a presidential contest. Here's what they said:

Participants in St. Louis' Black & Engaged trainings pose with fists raised after part of the weekend's sessions.
Charles Davis | St. Louis Public Radio

While the presidential election on Nov. 8 looms large across the nation, St. Louis activists and community organizers are trying to refocus the conversation on local politics. Black & Engaged is a national project for mobilizing black voters under 40. Organizers held its final civic engagement training in downtown St. Louis as part of their four-city tour this month.  

Eric Greitens, left, and Chris Koster
Carolina Hidalgo and Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri’s two major candidates for governor disagree on many things. But Democrat Chris Koster and Republican Eric Greitens do share similar views on the dueling tobacco-tax hike proposals on the Nov. 8 ballot. They oppose both of them.

That opposition could be significant, since whoever is elected governor will likely have significant roles in implementation of any of the six ballot measures that go before voters. Here’s a rundown on where Greitens and Koster stand on those issues, including some of their observations.

Judy Baker
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum welcomes back Democratic state treasurer hopeful Judy Baker to the program.

The Columbia Democrat is running against state Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale, in the contest to succeed state Treasurer Clint Zweifel. Zweifel is unable to run again, because the treasurer’s office is term-limited.

A view looking out on the rotunda from the second floor of St. Louis city hall.
File photo| St. Louis Public Radio

The financing package for part of Paul McKee's massive Northside Regeneration Project has gotten the first of two rounds of approval from the St. Louis Board of Aldermen.

Aldermen on Friday finalized the language for bills authorizing $2.8 million in tax increment financing incentives, and the creation of a new community improvement district, funded through a 1 percent sales tax. A final vote could come next week.

Curtis Faulkner
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome Republican Curtis Faulkner to the program.

Faulkner is the Republican nominee for the 4th District St. Louis County Council seat. He’s running against state Rep. Rochelle Walton Gray, a Blackjack Democrat who trounced incumbent Councilman Mike O’Mara earlier this summer. Walton Gray appeared on the podcast after her August primary victory.

Civil Rights Attorney Frankie Muse Freeman will turn 100 years old in November.
Provided by the St. Louis American

This article first appeared in the St. Louis American, and is used with permission:

Frankie Muse Freeman’s mother once shared a poem with her.

“There’s a line, ‘It shows in your face,’” Freeman said during a Black History Month talk at Anheuser-Busch in 2010. “However you live, it shows on your face. That was the theme that I tried to show through the experiences of my life.”

Reporter Rachel Lippmann recently went on a fellowship to Europe. Pictured here, a view from Dresden, from the dome of the Frauenkirche.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

In our weekly "Behind the Headlines" segment, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh discussed St. Louis Public Radio reporter Rachel Lippmann's recent return to the office after time spent away on a fellowship to Europe.

The major party candidates for secretary of state are Robin Smith, a Drmocrat, and Jay Ashcroft, a Republican.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio | File photos

Missouri will have a new secretary of state in January, because incumbent Democrat Jason Kander is running for the U.S. Senate. Barring a third-party upset, his successor will be a Republican with a last name very familiar to Missourians, or a Democrat known mainly to St. Louis-area TV viewers. 

Bill Otto
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 state Rep. Bill Otto the program.

The Maryland Heights Democrat is running against U.S. Rep.Ann Wagner in Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District. Wagner, a Republican from Ballwin, is slated to record an episode of the podcast next week.

Jay Ashcroft
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, we heard from Jay Ashcroft, the Republican nominee for Missouri secretary of state.

The Democratic candidate, Robin Smith, joined us on the show earlier this month, and her interview can be heard here.

Gubernatorial candidate Chris Koster became the first Democrat endorsed by the Missouri Farm Bureau for a statewide office.
File Photo | Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Nine years ago, Chris Koster was a state senator, a former Cass County prosecutor and a rising star within the Missouri Republican Party. Many speculated he would eventually run for governor.

And now he is running for governor, but as a Democrat.

Koster switched parties in 2007,  a stunning move that has set the course for his unusual political career.  He remains the highest-profile politician in Missouri, at least in modern times, to have made such a move

Jason Kander, left, and Roy Blunt
Carolina Hidalgo and Sen. Blunt's Flickr page

In a sign of how competitive Missouri’s U.S. Senate contest has become, the two major candidates – Republican incumbent Roy Blunt and Democrat Jason Kander – held dueling roundtables with area military veterans.

Wednesday’s events were intended to underscore how both men are highlighting their armed services credentials, and emphasizing their concern about the problems facing the nation’s military.

Live fact check asset
Courtesy NPR

Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton face off in the final presidential debate Wednesday night at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. NPR's politics team, with help from reporters and editors who cover national security, immigration, business, foreign policy and more, is live annotating the debate. Portions of the debate with added analysis are highlighted, followed by context and fact check from NPR reporters and editors.

This fall 2016 photo shows the the back of the Smithey's container home with new sod and patio.
Provided | Zack Smithey

A proposed amendment to St. Charles' building codes would make shipping-container homes blend in with more typical houses in the city.

A new home on Elm Street sparked the debate that led to the regulations, introduced at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting. The amendment would require shipping-container homes to be fully sided and have a pitched roof.

Susan Balk, journalist and founder of HateBrakers
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

The level of hate-filled rhetoric during this election season has raised alarms for some people.

The Southern Poverty Law Center this year released a report called “The Trump Effect: The Impact of the Presidential Campaign on Our Nation's Schools.” The organization’s co-founder, Morris Dees, who joined St. Louis on the Air this week, said, “Never has hate been such a focus in a political campaign whether it’s blacks, Latinos or people coming from different Arab countries, about a man who is essentially appealing to middle class whites, most of them not educated.”

Missouri Republican gubernatorial nominee Eric Greitens gestures during a speech in Overland, Missouri.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

It’s mid-afternoon in a VFW Hall in Overland, and Eric Greitens has a room full of veterans at full attention. Two Medal of Honor recipients, Michael Thornton and Thomas Norris, just introduced Greitens, and he’s about to provide the crowd with details about his newest mission: Becoming governor of Missouri.

On campaign stops like these, the uniform of the former Navy SEAL is often a blazer, an Oxford-cloth shirt with no tie, and jeans. His speech delivery is disciplined, sharp and deliberate: At town halls and debates, Greitens argues that Jefferson City’s political class has faltered and failed.

Alderman Megan Green, D-15th Ward, contended that there were better ways for the city to spend tax dollars than a new stadium.
File photo I St. Louis Public Radio

A change to St. Louis' problem properties ordinance could help people who have faced domestic violence stay in their homes.

The public safety committee of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen approved legislation Tuesday that says frequent 911 calls for domestic violence alone do not make a property a nuisance. Such a designation can lead to an eviction.

St. Louis Alderman Terry Kennedy leaves a committee hearing
Jenny Simeone | St. Louis Public Radio

Should the Board of Aldermen consider if its policies are fair to communities of color when making decisions?

Members of the Engrossment Rules, Resolutions, and Credentials committee think so. Today the committee approved a plan recommending that the full board apply a "racial equity lens" to city policy decisions.

But, what is a racial equity lens?

Goldie Taylor
Robert Ector Photography

Former St. Louisan Goldie Taylor is the editor-at-large for the Daily Beast. Although a long-time cable news contributor (she’s been on CNN, HLN and MSNBC), Taylor said that cable news and social media have “let us down” over the issues that divide the United States.

“Maybe I’m the optimist here, but I think we’re better off than our popular media suggests, than what we see on social media or cable news,” Taylor told St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh. “So many of us know one another as neighbors, friends, coworkers.”

Teresa Hensley
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 are pleased to welcome back Democratic attorney general nominee Teresa Hensley to the program.

Hensley is squaring off against Republican Josh Hawley in the general election for attorney general. Hawley recorded an episode of the podcast last week that can be found here.

Eric Greitens, left, and Chris Koster with images of money
Jason Rosenbaum and Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The latest campaign finance reports show that Democrat Chris Koster is heading into the final weeks of the campaign for Missouri governor with far more money in the bank than Republican Eric Greitens. But the numbers aren’t up to date.

The reports, due Monday, show Koster with $6.58 million on hand. That compares to $2.7 million for Greitens. But those totals are only through Sept. 30. Since then, Greitens has gotten $6.5 million from the Republican Governors Association and Koster has collected at least $1 million from various labor groups.

Morris Dees, co-founder, Southern Poverty Law Center.
CSS Group

Morris Dees, the co-founder of Southern Poverty Law Center, was born in 1936 and grew up on a small cotton farm in Alabama. His parents didn’t own the land, but the family worked it, alongside many African-Americans. That experience was integral to his development as someone who leads the charge against hate and intolerance through his work with the SPLC, a non-profit legal organization that works to eradicate hate and intolerance through education and litigation.

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