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Missouri's March 15 primary draws Cruz, Bill Clinton, Trump to St. Louis area

Proposition B asks to voters to allow their local city or county to continue collecting sales tax on cars bought out of state
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Those headed to the polls in St. Louis in 2012 will be voting in an election run by a different St. Louis Board of Elections. Three new members were named today by Gov. Jay Nixon. (via Flickr/ Daniel Morrison)

Updated 3 p.m. March 8 with Trump details -- Former President Bill Clinton will be in St. Louis on Tuesday to campaign for his wife, Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton.

On the Republican side: Donald Trump plans to be in town Friday; Sen. Ted Cruz is slated to be here Saturday to address St. Louis County Republicans, said county GOP chairman Bruce Buwalda. His wife Heidi Cruz was in the Metro East on Tuesday morning.

The  visits underscore how the March 15 primaries in Missouri and Illinois could be significant after all in determining the Republican and Democratic nominees. Presidential candidates who come to this area get media coverage that includes two states with delegates to be decided next week.

Trump plans to speak at the Peabody Opera House, 1400 Market St., at noon Friday. The event is free, but people will need tickets. Doors open at 9 a.m.

Buwalda said Sunday that Cruz has agreed to headline the county GOP’s Lincoln-Reagan Dinner, slated for next Saturday at the Orlando Gardens Event Center in Maryland Heights. Heidi Cruz was at Eckert's Country store on Tuesday morning as part of statewide swing across Illinois.

The county chairman added that he’d been advised that Cruz might have to cancel if there’s a conflict with the funeral of Nancy Reagan, widow of former President Ronald Reagan. She died Sunday.

Clinton will headline a late afternoon rally Tuesday at the District 9 Machinists Hall in Bridgeton. Doors open at 4:30 p.m., with the event scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m.

The last time he was in the region campaigning for his wife was in 2008, when the duo packed McCluer North High School in Florissant right before that year’s Missouri presidential primary. Barack Obama narrowly won.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas
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Ted CRuz

Bill Clinton is slated to visit Kansas City on Tuesday as well. (He canceled that visit, with the campaign blaming bad weather in the area.)

Clinton’s stop comes just days after his wife’s Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders, drew several thousand to a rally Friday at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.

Clinton’s Missouri visit also comes just days after most of the state’s top Democrats gathered in Hannibal for the annual Democrat Days festivities.

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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