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Mo. Bar Cancels Atty. Gen. Debate; Martin Files Ethics Complaint Against Koster

The Missouri Bar has canceled its planned debate for the state Attorney General’s race.

The debate had been planned for Friday, October 19th, in St. Louis at the Missouri Bar’s annual meeting.  Spokeswoman Farrah Fite says they canceled the debate because Republican nominee Ed Martin did not RSVP by Thursday’s deadline.  She added that incumbent Democrat Chris Koster and Libertarian nominee Dave Browning had accepted the invitation.

Martin spokesman Gabe Jones says they had a conflict on the 19th.  He also says they’ve offered several alternate dates for a debate, but that Koster has declined three of them and given no response on the rest.

Meanwhile, Martin has filed an ethics complaint over two campaign contributions received by Koster this month.  The first one was for $26,238.54, and the second one for $7,075.00.  The Missouri Ethics Commission's website identifies the donor as St. Louis resident Christine Kaplan.  Both donations are dated September 29th and were reported on October 1st, which is within the 48-hour deadline for reporting contributions of $5,000 or more.  Martin says both contributions were “in-kind,” meaning that they were used to cover miscellaneous campaign expenses.

“The real red flag is that it’s likely to have been something that was an ongoing expense that is just now being reported, and if that’s true, that is really uncommon in that amount," Martin said.

So far, the Koster campaign has not responded to requests for a comment.

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.

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