In Missouri, a Ferguson Candidate Challenges the Establishment

Chappelle-Nadal talks with protesters who blocked South Florissant Road in front of the Ferguson, Mo., police station. (Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/AP Photo)

After the shooting of Michael Brown, a young black man killed by a white police officer, it didn't take long for the conversation in Ferguson, Mo., to turn political.  

On the town's boiling streets a voter registration drive began, calls for city officials to resign stacked up and the Democratic political establishment that held control — from Gov. Jay Nixon to Rep. William Lacy Clay — found itself under attack. And state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, a Democrat, was right in the middle of it .  “I was tear-gassed and shot at,” she said. “There aren’t too many state senators who have a gas mask.”  

Missouri: William Lacy Clay Shellacs Russ Carnahan in St. Louis-Area Democratic Primary

Rep. William Lacy Clay steamrolled over a fellow Democratic Member in today's primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

You can't say Rep. William Lacy Clay (D) isn't a man of his word.

In May 2011, after redistricting put him and fellow Democratic Rep. Russ Carnahan in the same urban St. Louis district, Clay was direct when asked about the potential primary: “I will run, and I will win decisively,” he promised at the time.

Missouri: Gov. Jay Nixon Endorses William Lacy Clay

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) today endorsed Rep. William Lacy Clay in his Democratic primary fight against Rep. Russ Carnahan.

The endorsement was a significant boost for Clay.

Missouri: Russ Carnahan, William Lacy Clay Set to Face Off

(Ryan Kelly/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 2:55 p.m. | Missouri Rep. Russ Carnahan filed today to run in the urban St. Louis 1st district, setting off a potentially racially charged Democratic primary with Rep. William Lacy Clay that pits two Missouri political dynasties — one white, one black — against each other.

In the majority-minority district, both Congressmen will be familiar to voters, but Clay probably has the early edge. Only a third of Carnahan's current constituents were drawn into the reconfigured 1st.

Missouri Court Decision Dings Carnahan

A Missouri circuit court today ruled against a group of citizens hoping to overturn the Show-Me State's Congressional redistricting maps on the grounds that they did not meet state constitutional muster.

That's bad news for Rep. Russ Carnahan, whose current district was essentially eliminated in last year's redraw. The new map puts him in the same district as fellow Democratic Rep. William Lacy Clay, setting up the potential of a Member-vs.-Member race.