ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- Though many districts feature contested primaries on Tuesday, few have grabbed as much attention as the 1st District, where incumbent William Lacy Clay Jr. will face 3rd District Rep. Russ Carnahan.
The unusual battle came about after Missouri’s Legislature was faced with reducing the state’s nine congressional districts to eight following the 2010 Census.
Carnahan chose to run in the 1st District, currently represented by Clay, after Carnahan’s current 3rd District was essentially dismantled during redistricting and merged with neighboring districts. The boundaries were redrawn, and districts condensed, by the Republican-led state Legislature after Missouri lost one of its nine congressional districts as a result of the 2010 census.
Carnahan has accused Clay of selling out to predatory lenders by accepting tens of thousands of dollars in contributions over the past several years from the rent-to-own industry. Clay has defended the purpose of rent-to-own stores for lower-income residents and has accused Carnahan of running an angry campaign.
Both candidates repeatedly accused the other of telling a “whopper” when they debated a week before their primary.