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Days takes a side in 14th District -- backs Chappelle-Nadal

State Sen. Rita Days, D-Bel Nor, is no longer neutral in the 14th District contest to select her successor. Days said today that she has endorsed state Rep. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City.

Chappelle-Nadal is competing against three other well-known Democrats: state Reps. Don Calloway of Bel Nor, Ted Hoskins of Berkeley and former University City Mayor Joe Adams.

Days cannot seek re-election because of term limits.

Days said today she has recorded a robo-call for Chappelle-Nadal and is featured in a new mailer going out to voters.

Days, who had said earlier that she planned to remain neutral, said in an interview that she changed her mind. "I looked at all the candidates in the field, and decided that Maria is the most sincere," Days said.

Days said that Chappelle-Nadal shared her support for proper state funding of public education. Days said she also was concerned that two of the candidates -- Calloway and Hoskins -- have received money from a group with ties to wealthy financier Rex Sinquefield, who has advocated alternatives for children in troubled school districts, including tax breaks or private-school vouchers.

Days' decision comes after her fellow retiring colleague, state Sen. Joan Bray, D-University City, endorsed Adams. Bray is featured in his latest mailer.

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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