A Better St. Louis. Powered by Journalism.
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Print
  • Email

Schupp launches bid for 24th District Senate seat in contest attracting statewide buzz

In Backroom

10:59 pm on Thu, 06.13.13

As she launched her bid for the state Senate, Democrat Jill Schupp sharply condemned the Republican-controlled General Assembly as being “nearly dysfunctional’’ and “off-the-wall extreme” – which she asserted made it more crucial that outnumbered Democrats begin to snatch back power.

State Rep. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur mingles with the crowd at the kickoff for her state Senate bid.
Jo Mannies I St. Louis Beacon
State Rep. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur mingles with the crowd at the kickoff for her state Senate bid.

The Democratic-leaning 24th District that she’s seeking, which spans central St. Louis County, is top on her party’s list because it’s now held by an increasingly conservative Republican, John Lamping.

“This Republican legislature, led by extremists, has betrayed our trust,’’ said Schupp, a state legislator from Creve Coeur, at a Thursday night kickoff in Frontenac that attracted more than 200 area Democrats.

The unexpectedly larger crowd, said Schupp and others, was a sign that the Democratic base is energized as it prepares for the 2014 elections.

Schupp contrasted her political philosophy -- “I believe that government can be a force for good ‘’ – with what she portrayed as a Republican majority in Jefferson City fixated on “extremist issues and time wasters on a shameful scale.”

During the latest session, she declared, “We spent a fraction of the time we needed on Medicaid expansion and job creation, but a vast amount of time turning victims of rape or incest who want the morning-after pill into criminals, and trying to make machine guns legal,” she said.

“We spent three days debating the ‘gold standard!’ “Schupp added, touching off disapproving murmurs and chuckles from her audience.

John Lamping
John Lamping

Her focus on Missouri GOP leaders in general -- Schupp didn’t mention Lamping -- reflected a fact repeated by many of the speakers and supporters: – that the 24th District contest has significance beyond its borders.

A Democratic victory in the 24th, she said, would be “a first crack in our opponents’ veto-proof majority’’ in the state Senate and House.

Attorney General Chris Koster speaks at Schupp's kick-off event.
Jo Mannies I St. Louis Beacon
Attorney General Chris Koster speaks at Schupp's kick-off event.

The Democratic stakes are high In 2014,  Schupp said because the district is “one of a small handful of competitive races in Missouri. This will be the race to watch, and this will be the race the state is looking at.”

Another sign? The speeches delivered by House Minority Leader Jake Hummel, D-St. Louis, and Attorney General Chris Koster. The latter, a Republican-turned-Democrat, is running for governor in 2016 – and created buzz at last Saturday’s Jefferson-Jackson Dinner when he pledged time and money to help Democratic legislative candidates like Schupp.

Before lauding Schupp, Hummel praised Koster for his commitment to help the heavily outnumbered Democrats in the state House and Senate.

Republican fury directed at Koster, Tilley

Koster also figured in a related controversy Thursday within GOP ranks, as Republicans around the state – notably Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles -- took note of his pledge as they blasted former state House Speaker Steve Tilley, a Republican, for donating $7,500 to Koster this week.

Chris Koster
Chris Koster
Steve Tilley
Steve Tilley

Koster and Tilley both said in interviews that the contribution reflected a longstanding personal friendship, on and off the golf course, and nothing more. Tilley emphasized that he and Koster disagreed on a number of issues.

Koster called the furor “much ado about nothing” -- perhaps because he has received far larger donations within the past year from far more prominent Republicans, including St. Louis businessman Sam Fox and wealthy financier Rex Sinquefield.

In any case, Koster sought to keep Thursday’s focus on Schupp, who he said in his speech regularly “exceeds expectations’’ in fundraising, in attracting crowds, and as a leader. 

Thursday’s crowd was unusually large for a state Senate kickoff, as was Schupp’s prediction that her campaign will raise and spend at least $750,000 – regardless of her opponent.

Lamping, who couldn’t be reached for comment, has yet to say whether he’s running for re-election – uncertainty that’s also generating buzz within both party’s ranks.

St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmermann, a Democrat and former legislator, contended that Schupp was “the strongest candidate we can find’’ to win back the 24th – whether Lamping runs for re-election or not.

No Comments

Join The Beacon

When you register with the Beacon, you can save your searches as news alerts, rsvp for events, manage your donations and receive news and updates from the Beacon team.

Register Now

Already a Member

Getting around the new site

Take a look at our tutorials to help you get the hang of the new site.

Most Discussed Articles By Beacon Members

Conference of American nuns will mull response to Vatican charges

In Nation

7:55 am on Fri, 08.03.12

Meeting in St. Louis next week, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious will have its first opportunity as an assembled group to consider what to do after the Vatican issued a mandate for change this spring. It calls on the conference to reorganize and more strictly observe church teachings.

The 'free' Zoo

In Commentary

7:51 am on Tue, 05.22.12

When a family of four goes to the St. Louis Zoo, they can be forgiven for not knowing it will cost them $60, $72 if they park. If they can't pay, the alternative is to tell the kids they can't do what kids do at the zoo.

Featured Articles

House sends Boeing incentive bill to Nixon

In Economy

12:55 pm on Fri, 12.06.13

The Missouri House easily passed legislation aimed at attracting production of the 777x, a move that wraps up a legislative special session that saw little suspense and few surprises. The bill now goes to Gov. Jay Nixon, who has strongly supported the legislation.

Gandhi inspired Mandela on South Africa's 'Long Road to Freedom'

In World

10:10 am on Fri, 12.06.13

Nelson Mandela, who died Thursday at the age of 95, was a towering moral figure of the 20th century -- along with Mahatma Gandhi. It was no coincidence that Gandhi and Mandela, whose paths never crossed directly, both embarked on their campaigns against discrimination in South Africa. It was when Mandela won election as South Africa’s first black president that Gandhi's influence became apparent.

Featured Articles

Regina Carter brings jazz and therapy to Children's Hospital

6:36 am on Mon, 12.09.13

One night, the violinist is taking bows before a standing ovation at Jazz at the Bistro. The next afternoon, some of her audience may have trouble standing, but the kids in the playroom at Children's Hospital were no less appreciative. “Jazz is medicine personified," according to a doctor who brings in the jazz musicians.

Encore: Dead before death

In Performing Arts

12:58 am on Fri, 12.06.13

For years , the author was certain he would never come to appreciate The Grateful Dead, let alone be a Deadhead. But little by little, he's come around. He talks about his conversion and relates a real evolution: by a musician who went on to play with the Schwag, a Dead cover band.

Featured Articles

Schlichter honored with St. Louis Award

In Region

4:57 pm on Tue, 12.03.13

The attorney has founded Arch Grants, which brings together nonprofit philanthropy and commercially viable opportunitiesto fund new business startups, and Mentor St. Louis, which finds adult mentors for elementary students in the St. Louis Public School System. He was the driving force behind the state's historic tax credit program.

BioGenerator sets open house to celebrate new digs for entrepreneurs-in-residence

In InnovationSTL

12:29 pm on Tue, 11.12.13

BioSTL's BioGenerator organization is on the move as its entrepreneurs-in-residence find a new home in 4,300 square feet of office and conference space in an old automobile factory. The blossoming program, which helps BioGenerator's portfolio companies to get off the ground, continues to pay dividends within the growing biotech community.

Ambassadors aim to soften rough landing for St. Louis immigrants

In InnovationSTL

6:34 am on Fri, 11.08.13

The St. Louis Mosaic Project is set to hold an orientation for its new ambassadors -- dozens of foreign and native-born volunteers who aim to help make the community a more welcoming place for those from other nations. Participants will be expected to do everything from visiting local restaurants serving international cuisine to having dinner with an immigrant to the area.

Recent Articles

More Articles

Innovation and entrepreneurial activity are on the rise in St. Louis, especially in bioscience, technology and alternative energy. The Beacon's InnovationSTL section focuses on the people who are part of this wave, what they're doing and how this is shaping our future. To many St. Louisans, this wave is not yet visible. InnovationSTL aims to change that. We welcome you to share your knowledge, learn more about this vibrant trend and discuss its impact.

Featured Articles

Regina Carter brings jazz and therapy to Children's Hospital

6:36 am on Mon, 12.09.13

One night, the violinist is taking bows before a standing ovation at Jazz at the Bistro. The next afternoon, some of her audience may have trouble standing, but the kids in the playroom at Children's Hospital were no less appreciative. “Jazz is medicine personified," according to a doctor who brings in the jazz musicians.

Featured Articles

Featured Events:

More About The Beacon Home