ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - In a race that pitted two long-time friends and Democratic congressmen from St. Louis against one another – complete with heated attacks, allegations of unethical behavior, and racial undertones – it was William Lacy Clay who came out ahead.
As the victor, Clay will almost certainly represent the 1st Congressional District, which now comprises the entire city of St. Louis, after the November elections.
The showdown came after a redistricting battle forced the elimination of Russ Carnahan’s 3rd District, a point of contention between the candidates.
“From Day One, Republicans clearly wanted to merge the two Democratic districts in St. Louis into one,” Carnahan said in a KMOX debate. ”Unfortunately my friend Congressman Clay supported them in doing that in the (Missouri) legislature.”
“I think what my opponent has just said is really a whopper,” Clay said when it was his turn to answer. “All three Democratic members of the Missouri delegation — Congressman Cleaver, Congressman Carnahan, and myself — issued a joint press release urging the Republican-led state legislature to keep three Congressional districts in the St. Louis region.”
Throughout the race, and during the debate on KMOX, the two sparred over which was more liberal.
“I have a one-hundred percent record of voting to protect Medicare and Social Security. I voted time and again to end tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires,” Clay argued. “I think it better aligns me with the people in the First Congressional district.”
Not surprisingly, Carnahan disagreed.
“I think I have by just about any measurement a very progressive voting record,” he responded. “I have top ratings from labor, the NAACP, environmental groups. I’m proud of my record.”