Russ Carnahan vs. Lacy Clay
I fought against Democrats selling out and giving away one of St. Louis's congressional seats. After that happened, I argued that Carnahan should run in the 2nd District against Ann Wagner, even though it would be difficult. But now that we have Clay vs Carnahan, I have to go with the person I think would be the best Congressman representing the 1st District. I think Russ Carnahan would be a better congressman, for two primary reasons. First, as I wrote previously, Carnahan had to withstand a lot of nasty, despicable personal attacks when he chose to do the hard work of fighting for healthcare and talking to constituents about it. Clay, in a completely safe district with nothing to lose, could have advocated for healthcare reform without any risk, yet he did very little. Second, when I've met with Carnahan, he was well-informed on the issues we were discussing but also willing to take new ideas into consideration. The two meetings I've had with Clay as part of groups were really discouraging experiences. I'm not going to get into why, because I think whatever happens Tuesday we should be uniting and working on important races in November. But I think Carnahan would do a better job representing the district, and so I'm supporting him.
Missouri Senate District 5 : Jeanette Mott Oxford vs. Jamilah Nasheed vs. Robin Wright-Jones
Wait, why did St. Louis and the Democrats lose a congressional seat again? Oh yeah, because several "Democrats" in the state legislature sold out and sided with Republicans to overrule Jay Nixon's veto of Republican's dream map. And one of the most bombastic and unapologetic of that group of sell-outs was Jamilah Nasheed. I used to like Nasheed because she was an activist turned politician, but since she's been in office, in addition to giving Republicans an additional Congressional seat they can use to try to undermine President Obama while wrecking the country, she also threw liberal St. Louisans under the bus on a payday loan industry supporting bill and on the puppy mill cruelty bill rollback, she took donations from Republican House Leader Steve Tilley, and she worked with right-wing extremist Rex Sinquefield. In fact, Fired Up Missouri recently reported that the right-wing Club for Growth, bankrolled almost entirely by Sinquefield, is now sending out mailers attacking Nasheed's opponents. There are enough Republicans bought by Rex in the state legislature; we don't need any more Democrats who are as well (especially since Sinquefield is pushing crazy ideas like abolishing the income tax in favor of a ultra-regressive huge sales tax).
I like both Robin Wright-Jones and Jeanette Mott Oxford and I think both are strong progressives. However, it's my impression that Wright-Jones no longer has much of a chance of winning after getting some bad press over alleged ethics scandals. So I support JMO, and honestly think that she's exactly the kind of progressive legislator St. Louis needs more of.
Missouri House District 79: Michael Butler vs Martin Casas
I mentioned a good reason for voting against Nasheed is that she's worked with and is taking money from right-wing extremist Rex Sinquefield (by the way, I'm not sure if there is *anybody* who works with Rex *without* also taking his money). That same logic provides a good reason for not voting for Martin Casas, who was paid by a Sinquefield group while apparently building up Rex's statewide email list. I haven't really been making much noise about this, but since the St. Louis American brought up some of my previous points about Casas in a recent column, I guess I'm committed. Actually, though, my views haven't changed. As I said above, I don't really trust politicians who are beholden to Sinquefield, and since the Missouri House and Senate are already so close to being a purely veto-proof majority for extremist Republicans, I think it's just too dangerous to put a Democrat in office who might owe some favors to Missouri's Koch Brother from Another Mother. I endores Butler.
State Senate 13th District: Reddit Hudson vs. Gina Walsh
My labor friends really like Walsh and I know she's a great candidate, but I really like Reddit Hudson. I got to meet him when he participated at a panel at my school, and as a former police officer who went on to work for the ACLU I think he's got a really interesting story. He's also an excellent speaker. As I mentioned, some union friends are apparently worried that he doesn't sufficiently support labor unions, but the only evidence they produced in support of this claim was his quote in the Beacon:
Hudson contended that north St. Louis County’s influential labor community has “dictated the political process” for years. While emphasizing that he's pro-labor, Hudson said he opposes "a relatively small group of people dictating the political process to a majority community unchallenged.”However, the same article points out that Hudson is opposed to anti-Union "Right to Work For Less" bills, and I think his comments were more about the process of selecting a representative than about the actual issues unions fight for. I really don't think he would underestimate the value of unions to his constituents if he was elected. I support Hudson but I think the 13th District will have a great senator no matter what happens on Tuesday.
Missouri House District 84: Mike Owens vs. Karla May vs Hope Whitehead
Owens is a former news reporter and the husband of alderwoman Lyda Krewson, and from what I've heard from people in that district, she's part of the St. Louis Democratic establishment and not especially progressive. I'm all for political power couples, but not ones that are part of the whole conservative Democrat/media establishment status quo of St. Louis.
Karla May voted for the initial Republican map that gave away a U.S. Congressional District, but didn't vote for the veto override. I'm not entirely sure what was going on, but Hope Whitehead is a safer bet.
Missouri Senate 1st District: Sue Schoemehl vs. Scott Sifton
Sifton is pro-choice, while Schoemehl is not. And I agree with the Post-Dispatch that Sifton's record of not taking lobbyist gifts gives him a great message against the lobbyists best friend Jim Lembke, one of the biggest extremists in the state senate.
Missouri House District 73:
Doug Clemens is a great guy who fights for working people. He's someone who is out on the streets supporting good causes, so I can't wait to see him in the state legislature.
Last but definitely not least:
A special shout-out to Ferguson Democratic Committeewoman Patricia Bynes. I don't actually know if anyone was crazy enough to run against her, but I know that I'd vote for Patricia in a heartbeat if I lived there. If I had to guess, I'd say Patricia will have a long and productive political career ahead of her, so you might as well start following her on Twitter or Facebook now.
Update: A friend on facebook reminds me that in keeping with the rule "Vote against Democrats who shamefully gave away a St. Louis/Democratic U.S. House Seat," I should also endorse Ruth Ehresman over Penny Hubbard in House District 78. She is absolutely correct on that.
Update #2: As Caleb Michael-Files points out on Facebook, supporting Mike Colona is a no-brainer in House District 80. He's a great progressive.