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Although primaries not over, Russ Carnahan calling for general-election debates

U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-St. Louis, doesn't know who his Republican opponent will be -- in fact, Carnahan has two Democratic challengers -- but the congressman already is calling for two debates featuring all the party nominees for Nov. 2.

Carnahan is recommending that the debates be held in September in different parts of the far-flung 3rd congressional district.

"Informed voters make informed choices," Carnahan said.

"I suggest two debates, one in a location accessible for South City and County residents and another convenient for residents of Jefferson and St. Genevieve Counties to allow voters from all over the 3rd District to hear the candidates discuss the vital issues facing Missouri families."

He is recommending that the nonpartisan League of Women Voters be in charge of the events, calling the group "the gold standard" when it comes to overseeing candidate debates.

Carnahan's two Democratic opponents are David Arnold and Edward Crim. The three Republicans competing for their party's nod are, in ballot order: John Wayne Tucker, Ed Martin and Rusty Wallace.

Libertarian Steven R. Hedrick has no opposition, and automatically is his party's nominee.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon.

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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