The St. Louis region’s two Democratic members of Congress, William Lacy Clay Jr. and Russ Carnahan, once again tangled over congressional redistricting – and who was to blame for their predicament — during their first and only public debate.
The two squared off for an hour this morning in the studio of radio station KMOX (1120 AM), with Charlie Brennan as the host. They also sparred over the rent-to-own industry, the bank bailout, the estate tax and how long to keep troops in Afghanistan.
The two are vying in the Aug. 7 primary over who gets to stay in Congress. The two were tossed into the same congressional district when the Republican-controlled General Assembly drew up a new state map in 2011 reflecting population shifts in the 2010 census, which also led to Missouri losing a congressional district.
Legislators then overrode the veto of Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat.
In the debate’s first exchange, Carnahan repeated his assertions that Clay was to blame for the map and alleged he had pressured fellow Democrats in his district to override Nixon’s veto.
Carnahan had sought additional debates or forums, and appeared without Clay at a forum on Saturday held by the St. Louis League of Women Voters. Clay also declined a debate, now cancelled, that had been proposed to be televised on KETC-TV (Channel 9). The cohosts were to include the Beacon and public radio station KWMU.