MOScout Daily Update: Roberts in Senate 5 - Lavender in Senate 15 - KCStar on Wagner and more...

That Humphreys IP

Coming on the heels of mega-donor David Humphreys’ criticism of the abortion-ban bill, Governor Mike Parson held a quick pre-holiday weekend bill signing.

Humphreys’ camp had made it known that he was mulling an initiative petition to give voters a chance to reverse the most extreme parts of the abortion bill. That seemed like a threat designed to make the governor reconsider his support. 

But if the governor’s snappy signature was a gambit to call Humphreys’ bluff, it appears that it was no bluff at all.

Indications are that Humphreys does intend to act, specifically to add exceptions for rape and incest. 

Last week’s MOScout poll showed that many Missourians take a nuanced position on abortion – generally disapproving of the procedure, but still wanting it legal for certain situations.

 

Roberts in Senate 5

Rep. Steve Roberts Jr. is kicking off his Senate 5 bid on Thursday (6 PM at Restoration St. Louis, 4240 Manchester). 

This is the seat of term limited Jamilah NasheedBruce Franks was the presumed nominee.  But his resignation in the final week of session has reshuffled the race.

Roberts is the only declared candidate right now. See his website here.

Others who may enter: Rep. LaKeySha Bosley, Rep. Peter Merideth, or you could see a community activist or neighborhood leader jump in. 

And

Post-Dispatch reports that “after more than two and a half years of courtroom maneuvers and delays… attorneys for Steven Roberts Jr. and Cora Faith Walker, both Democratic state representatives, dropped their legal actions Wednesday in St. Louis Circuit Court.  ‘The parties have resolved this matter to their mutual satisfaction,’ a joint statement said. ‘They will be dismissing their respective claims. No money was paid in exchange for the dismissal of the parties’ claims. ... The parties will have no further comment at this time.’ The actions leading to the suits began in September 2016 when Walker, in a letter to Missouri House Speaker Todd Richardson and other legislators, accused Roberts of sexually assaulting her in his apartment in St. Louis. Walker said that she went there in August 2016 to discuss political matters, passed out, then woke up the next morning and could not recall what had happened… Roberts contended that he and Walker had consensual sex that night. He also claimed their first sexual contact, also consensual, happened the day before the alleged rape, while the two were at a conference in Kansas City.  No criminal charges were ever filed…”

 

Lavender in Senate 15

Tipster says that Rep. “Deb Lavender will be announcing her run for Missouri State Senate District 15 against Sen. Andrew Koenig.”

Previously Democrat Mark Osmack announced he’d be running, so there may be a primary.

The case for Lavender…

·         After a half-dozen state rep races, she has a strong foothold of name ID in her district.

·         She has an established base of donors – both small donors from her community, but also a known commodity with Democratic interest groups.

·         She’s a methodical/workaholic door-knocker who “puts together aggressive field campaigns.”

·         St. Louis County, and this district with it, have been trending Democratic during the past decade.

I wouldn’t say that Republicans are “worried” about Senate 15, but between the abortion-ban bill and the changing demographics of St. Louis, they’ll definitely be keeping a close eye on this race.

 

KCStar on Wagner

Following up on the theme of suburban battlegrounds, the Kansas City Star’s Lindsay Wise (heading to the Wall Street Journal by the way) writes about Congresswoman Ann Wagner’s political situation in St. Louis County.  See it here.

Ann Wagner is painfully aware that the Republican party has a women problem. And a minority problem. And an independents problem. And a suburban problem.  The 56-year-old GOP congresswoman from Missouri is characteristically blunt about the consequences for her party if it does not fix those problems — and fast… So Wagner is recruiting women and candidates of color. She is raising money to help them win primaries. And she is organizing her fellow Republicans to push legislation tailored to the concerns of suburban voters: GOP-driven plans to help save for retirement, pay for child care, reduce traffic congestion and mitigate climate change. For Wagner, it’s not just a theoretical exercise. Her own political future could be at stake. Can a Republican woman who represents a purely suburban district not only survive but thrive in the Trump era? The numbers are not encouraging. In three previous contests, Wagner coasted to victory with huge double-digit margins, as much as 30%. Last year, she held off Democratic newcomer Cort VanOstran by just 4%.  Republicans lost control of the House, and Wagner is one of just 13 Republican women left. She is also one of the last surviving GOP members to represent a purely suburban district…  “We lost 40, 41 seats and most of them were in suburban areas,” Wagner said….

 

Finally

On Twitter, Rep. Raychel Proudie asks Missouri Democratic Party executive director Lauren Gepford “what she does.”  See it here“I am not sure what you do at all. I certainly don't think or believe ANYONE thinks, implied, or wants YOU to be the "end all be all". If your are in the explaining mood, let’s start with what it is you do. Asking for most of us.”

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Speaker Elijah Haahr, and Olivia Wilson.