Black Lawmakers Blow Off McCaskill’s Call For Help

Kerry Picket Political Reporter
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Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill found herself at odds against black Democratic lawmakers on both federal and state levels.

According to The Kansas City Star, black community organizers from her state say minority voters are not motivated about McCaskill’s campaign and when asked by the senator to sign a letter to dispute criticism by notable Missouri black activist Bruce Franks, none responded to do so.

“I’m going to vote for Claire, but Claire is going to have to bring her ass to St. Louis,” Franks told an audience at a town hall forum last month.

McCaskill, The Star reported, asked Missouri Democratic Reps. Emmanuel Cleaver, Lacy Clay,  and state Rep. Gail McCann Beatty, minority leader in the Missouri State House, and both lawmakers refused to sign the letter.

“I’m 100 percent certain that nobody signed it,” Cleaver said to The Star. “We talked about it very seriously and strongly and every one of us said, ‘We’re going to support her, but signing this letter isn’t going to achieve what she wants. It’s just going to make people angry.'”

McCaskill, who is running for a third term in a state won by Donald Trump by 19 points, finds herself in a precarious position, as she attempts to find a way to appeal to her conservative constituents, while not abandoning the ideals of the Democratic Party.

During McCaskill’s first campaign for the seat, the Missouri Democrat benefitted from GOP infighting when then – Republican Rep. Todd Akin, her opponent, made a tremendous gaffe relating to the issue of abortion and rape of the mother.

Ten GOP primary candidates have lined up to run against McCaskill and not have a repeat of 2012. Leading the pack is State Attorney General Josh Hawley who has already gone after McCaskill for fundraising in Beverly Hills.

“By now, I’m sure you have seen the news that President Obama’s first candidate fundraiser of the 2018 election cycle is for Senator Claire McCaskill – in Beverly Hills, California,” Hawley spokeswoman Kelli Ford said.

Hawley later challenged the senator to bring the former president to Missouri to campaign with her.

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Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to note that there are 10 Republican primary candidates, not 21.