Democratic St. Louis County Councilman Steve Stenger has picked up an important endorsement from U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay in his race for county executive in the general election Tuesday, Nov. 4.
“If you are a progressive Democrat like me there is no other choice but this candidate,” Clay told KMOX radio host Charlie Brennan.
Clay is the senior member of Congress for the St. Louis region, the head of Missouri’s U.S. House delegation and Missouri’s most powerful African-American elected official.
“I’m thrilled to have the endorsement of Congressman Clay,” said Stenger. “Congressman Clay leads a political team founded by his father former Congressman Bill Clay, which has produced more Democratic votes than any other political organization in the history of our state.”
SEPARATE FROM FERGUSON
Clay, who has called for St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch to step aside in the investigation into the Ferguson police shooting of teenager Michael Brown, said that did not enter into his decision to back Stenger over extremist Republican Rick Stream in the county executive’s race.
Some African-American officials want a special prosecutor to handle the investigation into the shooting, citing the fact that McCulloch’s father, a policeman, was killed by a black suspect in the 1960s.
Stenger has been under fire from some of those officials because he has stood by McCulloch, his political ally in the August primary race against Charlie Dooley.
Clay said he understood those feelings, but said black voters need to realize McCulloch isn’t running for county executive.
“This is not about Bob McCulloch but about (not) allowing the largest county in the state to be run by a right-wing, Tea Party extremist,” Clay said.
‘NOT PART OF THE SOLUTION’
As a Missouri House rep., Clay said Stream had “consistently voted against the vital interests of African Americans, women and working people.
“Rick Stream has opposed nearly all proposals to advance working people in the Missouri legislature,” Clay said.
“Don’t be fooled by campaign promises. We have a long detailed legislative record to judge Rick Stream’s priorities. If we want to effectively attack the problems in Ferguson and other similar issues and challenges in St. Louis County, we must elect Steve Stenger. Rick Stream is not part of the solution.”
(Some information for this story from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and St. Louis Public Radio.)