lacy clay

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.”