(Updated noon, Thursday, Oct. 9)
State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal is the star of Republican Rick Stream’s television ad, an unusual example of cross-party dynamics in the race for St. Louis County executive.
Chappelle-Nadal, a University City Democrat, appears in an ad promoting Stream’s bipartisan credentials.
“When the most vulnerable were threatened by massive state budget cuts, Rick Stream as House budget chair didn’t let party lines get in the way of doing what was right,” she said in the ad. “Rick was a godsend of common sense and compassion in a sea of disaster.”
Added Stream in a statement: “I have worked across party lines year after year as budget chairman to balance our state budget during tough economic times while protecting programs that impact the most vulnerable children, women and citizens in our state."
Chappelle-Nadal – who faces no Republican opposition in her re-election bid Nov. 4 – has become a prominent figure in the aftermath of Michael Brown’s shooting death at the hands of a Ferguson police officer. She’s at times been fiercely critical of some leading members of her party – including Gov. Jay Nixon and U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay – for their responses to the turmoil.
Her public endorsement of Stream comes after a group of African-American Democrats from St. Louis County endorsed the Kirkwood Republican. Many in the Fannie Lou Hamer Coalition are allies of St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley, whom Stenger easily defeated in August’s Democratic primary.
The ad also comes on the heels of Stenger's ads labeling Stream as an extremist. They cite Stream's votes against abortion rights and gun control, as well as a vote to pare down a tax credit to help seniors pay property taxes. In fact, Stenger released a new ad today where he alluded to Stream's votes to clamp down on that credit while voting for tax cuts.
This isn’t the first time Chappelle-Nadal appeared in an ad for a Republican running in a general election. In 2008, she appeared in an ad supporting Republican Mike Gibbons’ unsuccessful bid for attorney general over Democratic nominee Chris Koster. Koster, of course, won.
Chappelle-Nadal and Koster ultimately patched things up, and he appeared at one of her fundraisers late last year.
On Thursday, however, her campaign treasurer -- St. Louis lawyer Michael Vogt -- resigned because of Chappelle-Nadal's endorsement of Stream. In his resignation letter, Vogt cited his objections to Stream's views. Vogt wrote that as a "mainstream Democrat,'' he wasn't going to help raise money that could be used to aid Stream.
Political reporter Jo Mannies contributed information for this article.