U.S. Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay has been criticized, at least since Ferguson, as a largely absentee congressman who is strong on official letters and fearless, biting quotes, but weak on personal presence in his district when needed. We feel that Clay has missed several opportunities to lead locally when his leadership was badly needed – and also made some bad self-serving deals with unworthy mainstream Democrats (Francis G. Slay, Steve Stenger) to help elect them – and we hope a spirited primary challenge forces him to diversify his strategies and return more often to the grass roots. His official letters and insider game in Washington have been very valuable to his district and the region in helping to force the DOJ investigation of Ferguson and the EPA review of nuclear waste in North County and in keeping the NGA West headquarters in the City of St. Louis. But we would like to see him take the lead on the ground in St. Louis more often, especially in times of crisis, and we hope we have seen the last of his forming election-time alliances with retrograde white Democrats. The strong primary challenge by activist Cori Bush has been helpful to the community and hopefully will lead to greater trust and collaboration, as we see a new generation of activists enter electoral politics determined to challenge the status quo. However, we believe the best hope for salvaging what remains of our democracy lies in Democrats winning majorities in Congress in November, and if that happens, St. Louis will be better served by having an experienced congressman with nearly two decades of seniority than an upstart, insurgent candidate entering elected office for the first time, and that is why we endorse U.S. Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay for 1st District U.S. representative.
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