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Clay Comfortably Defeats Carnahan Clay Comfortably Defeats Carnahan

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Politics

Clay Comfortably Defeats Carnahan

August 7, 2012

Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-Mo., defeated fellow Democratic Rep. Russ Carnahan in a member-versus-member primary in Missouri's 1st Congressional District Tuesday night.

With 97 percent of precincts reporting, Clay led Carnahan 62 percent to 35 percent, with a third candidate grabbing the remainder. The Associated Press called the race for Clay.

Both men belong to major Missouri political dynasties, but Clay gets the chance to continue working in the family business thanks, first and foremost, to the favorable makeup of the St. Louis-based seat after redistricting. Missouri lost a congressional seat after the last Census, and Carnahan's old district was chopped up and partly absorbed into Clay's majority-minority seat by Republican state legislators -- with a key assist from a few Clay allies in the state legislature's Democratic caucus.

More than 70 percent of the district's residents came from Clay's old seat, and he effectively consolidated his position with support from the black and white Democratic establishment in St. Louis and Missouri. Carnahan attacked Clay as a supporter of predatory lenders during the campaign, while Clay hit backed against Carnahan's votes for the bank bailout.

Carnahan is the tenth House member to lose a primary this cycle. Four lost to outside challengers, while another five -- Reps. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, Don Manzullo, R-Ill., Jason Altmire, D-Pa., Steve Rothman, D-N.J., and Hansen Clarke, D-Mich. -- all lost member-versus-member primaries that were forced by redistricting.

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