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Adams no longer U. City mayor, he's now a full-time state Senate hopeful

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 26, 2010 - As of 6:45 p.m. last Thursday, Joe Adams is no longer University City's mayor, and instead he is an official full-time candidate for the Missouri Senate.

While energized by his new challenge, Adams said in an interview that his departure after 14 years as University City's top elected official is "bittersweet."

"I loved serving the people of University City," Adams said, adding that he believes his tenure has helped the city's "chances of survival in this great America."

His "great dream" of getting a new firehouse for the city is now coming to pass, Adams added, as a result of $2.6 million in federal stimulus money and an agreement by Washington University to lease the land where the station will be located.

Adams is promoting his mayoral experience as a key aspect of his campaign for the 14th District state Senate seat that will be vacated after this year by state Sen. Rita Days, D-Bel Nor, who can't seek re-election because of term limits.

Adams is among five Democrats vying the for the post in a district that is so Democratic that no other parties fielded a contender. As a result, the Democrat who wins the August primary is the de facto victor in November.

The mayor's rivals include three current members of the Legislature -- state Reps. Ted Hoskins, Don Calloway and Maria Chappelle-Nadal -- and former Rep. Esther Haywood.

Aside from his mayoral experience, Adams is already promoting his support of a proposal to expand the state's non-discrimination policy -- the proposed Missouri Non-Discrimination Act -- to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

That proposal, and related issues involving gay rights, could become a hot topic in the Senate contest.

Adams had endorsed Councilman Terry Crow, the runner-up earlier this month in the contest to succeed Adams as mayor. The victor and new mayor is Shelley Welsch.

Chappelle-Nadal  had endorsed Welsch. But it was the legislator's Tweets about Crow, who is gay, that has put her at odds with some gay-rights activists.

Adams took note of that controversy in his first campaign statement about gay rights and diversity and acknowledges that it likely won't be the last time that he discusses the matter as the contest proceeds.

According to the latest campaign reports, which cover Jan. 1-March 30, three of Adams' rivals -- including Chappelle-Nadal -- are in better financial shape at the moment.

Here's the latest figures:

  • Adams-- Raised $74,310.65, spent $40,517.35, with $24,393.30 on hand.
  • Calloway -- Raised $38,101.00, spent $9,319.45, with $30,487.53 on hand.
  • Chappelle-Nadal -- Raised $67,062.55, spent $25,485.66, with $52,549.82 on hand.
  • Haywood -- Filed a limited-activity report in which she said she had neither raised nor spent more than $500 during the quarter.
  • Hoskins -- Raised $67,730.00, spent $11,059.34, with $89,734.55 on hand. The latter sum includes a personal loan of $25,000
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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