ST. LOUIS–(KMOX)–In the Clay vs. Carnahan congressional race, Clay makes a foray into the board of aldermen, shaking hands, hugging and huddling with influential aldermen.
Earlier this week both men filed for the August primary in the Democratic party’s first congressional district. It’s a district that Clay has held for years, taking over the seat that his father turned into a powerful political franchise. Congressman Russ Carnahan filed for the seat, after a Republican-drawn map in the state legislature erased his old congressional district.
Immediately after they filed, Clay was endorsed by Mayor Francis Slay and St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley.
The Carnahan camp says it has also received some “significant endorsements” that will be announced at a later time.
On Friday morning, Clay was on the offensive at the board, conferring with northside alderwoman Marlene Davis. Alderwoman Jennifer Florida also told KMOX she “gave him a hug,” and urged him to continue the fight for “women’s health issues.” Southside alderman Craig Schmid said he shook hands with Clay.
When asked the nature of his visit to the board, Clay downplayed any political agenda.
“I am here doing my official function delivering the prayer to the board of aldermen,” Clay said.
When pressed about his visibly making the rounds, shaking hands and talking with aldermen, and asked if he was seeking their support for his upcoming race, Clay sidestepped the question.
“All of these are old friends that I remember, some I served with,” Clay said, “The city is so important to me. It’s my hometown, my birthplace. I love it.”
A few weeks ago, Congressman Russ Carnahan also gave the opening prayer at the board. Carnahan’s office says he’s at the board frequently, and always has a staffer there.
And in a sign that both men are reaching out for support, southside Alderman Fred Wessels said he never hears from Russ Carnahan, but today found a note waiting on his desk to “please call Congressman Carnahan.”