First Congressional District primary features well known democratic candidates

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) - Veteran Congressman Lacy Clay is facing a challenge in next week’s Democratic Primary from an outspoken Missouri State Senator.

Maria Chappelle-Nadal is calling on voters to change the leadership in the district.  “The people of St. Louis are really tired of one family having control of a congressional district seat for 48 years,” she said Monday as she prepared a campaign mailing.

Clay is seeking his ninth term in office.  His father, retired Congressman William Clay, served the First Congressional District for 32 years.  The incumbent Congressman, Lacy Clay refuses to allow anyone else to define him.  “The people who elected me expect me to be their voice in Congress and part of being their voice is to vote in their best interest and if you look at my voting record you’ll see that I’m in the very high nineties.”

Chappelle-Nadal points to unresolved and ongoing issues with radioactive waste material that has been found along Cold Water Creek in north St. Louis County.  “I’ve had 41 town hall meetings on radioactive waste in the last nine months and I can count on my hands that Mr. Clay has probably had less than five town hall meetings in 16 years,” she charged.

A University City resident who also served on the U-City School Board, the state senator is adamant that Clay has failed to deal with education shortcomings and high unemployment within the district as well as questions about radioactive waste in a North County landfill as well as the creek.

She said, “People want a change. People want energy; they want someone who has vision and they want someone who is going to be responsive and come home.”

Congressman Clay insists he is doing what his constituents want him to do.  “You cannot allow other people to define you and I won’t let that happen this time. What people need to understand is that being a Congressman is a fulltime job not like a part time state legislator who only has to work four and a half months out of the year,” he said.

He went on to remind voters, “I was the first member of the Congressional delegation to call for the complete removal  of the radioactive waste from West Lake Landfill so hopefully the people will decide that I best represent their interests  on this issue too and will give me another two years.”

Clay says he has been following issues with radioactive waste during his entire Congressional career.  “I’m the only candidate who has ever cleaned up radioactive waste sites.  Cleaned up two radioactive sites… the old army ammunition site and one at Carter Carburetor next door to Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club.”

Clay received the endorsement of President Barack Obama Monday.

St. Louis City School Board member Bill Haas is also running in the Democratic primary.

A League of Women Voters forum for all First District candidates from the Republican, Democratic and Libertarian parties will be held Tuesday, July 26 at 7pm at Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral, at Locust and Tucker Blvd. in downtown St. Louis.

Missouri voters will be nominating statewide, congressional and legislative candidates during the state’s primary election on Tuesday, August 2.

To check for your polling place and to pull sample ballots for each party go to https://s1.sos.mo.gov/elections/voterlookup/

Voters will be able to only request the ballot of one political party to vote on Election Day.  You do not need to be registered or belong to a political party to participate in the primary election.