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Missouri Sen. Jill Schupp On Her Plan To Unseat Ann Wagner

Jill Schupp
Schupp for Congress MO-02
Missouri state Sen. Jill Schupp is seeking to unseat Rep. Ann Wagner in Missouri's 2nd Congressional District.

Democrats have listed the seat held by U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner as one of their targets this November. And the nonpartisan Cook Political Report now lists the race for Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District as a tossup. The report previously changed its rating from “likely Republican” to “leans Republican” just five months ago.

In addition, a new poll shows state Sen. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur, in a dead heat with Wagner, who’s held the suburban St. Louis district since 2013.

“The reason that I’m running is because I’m someone who believes strongly in public service,” Schupp told St. Louis on the Air host Sarah Fenske. “The person who’s currently representing the district has not been representing the people of this community well.”

In 2016, Wagner won reelection by more than 20 percentage points. But that margin shrank to just 4 points when she bested challenger Cort VanOstran in 2018.

“What this pandemic has uncovered is the fact that people in the community, in the state, in the nation understand the need for leadership and a plan to address COVID,” Schupp said. “It’s clear to me that this is a time when different representation is needed. We need a leader who is going to stand up and put the people of the community first.”

Schupp criticized Wagner for voting against increasing health care access and against measures to lower the cost of prescription drugs.

But Schupp’s main selling point is the nation’s lack of leadership during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We need to get this under control. We absolutely need a plan of how to undermine and get rid of this epidemic so that people can go safely to schools, so we can reopen the economy. This has been stretched out for far too long because of a lack of leadership,” she said.

Schupp recently drew criticism for voting for Gov. Mike Parson’s crime bill during a special session of the Legislature. The bill would allow judges to certify children as young as 14 as adults if they commit certain crimes.

“Part of the reason I felt comfortable voting for this bill because at least it moved us in the right direction, so it upped the number from 12-year-olds being considered as adults to 14-year-olds,” she said. “It’s not perfect, I wouldn’t even say it’s really good. But it’s better than what current law said, and that’s part of the reason I voted to support that particular bill.”

Schupp said other priorities if elected to Congress would be to jump-start the economy, support job-training programs for those laid off, aid small businesses and fight climate change.

A former member of the Ladue School Board and the Creve Coeur City Council, Schupp bested Republican Jay Ashcroft (now the Missouri's secretary of state) to win her seat in the Missouri Senate in 2014.

Wagner has received an invitation to join St. Louis on the Air on a different day.

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.

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Alex is the executive producer of "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.

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