Politically Speaking: Chappelle-Nadal On St. Louis County Shake Up And The City-County Merger

May 7, 2019
Originally published on May 7, 2019 3:29 pm

State Rep. Maria Chappelle-Nadal returned to Politically Speaking to talk with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum about the leadership change in St. Louis County — and several issues percolating in the Missouri General Assembly.

The University City Democrat represents the 86th District in the Missouri House, which takes in parts of University City, Wellston, Pagedale and Hanley Hills.

After spending the maximum eight years in the Missouri Senate representing a slew of municipalities in central and north St. Louis County, Chappelle-Nadal chose to run for another term in the Missouri House last year. She previously served there between 2005 and 2011, representing a relatively similar area to the 86th District.

Chappelle-Nadal entered a competitive Democratic primary, which featured Farrakhan Shegog, Gloria Nickerson and Bobby Shields. She ended up getting about 50 percent of the vote — which is considered a decisive victory in a race with more than two people.

Chappelle-Nadal will be barred from running for the Missouri General Assembly next year after hitting term limits in both legislative chambers.

Since her first run for office in 2004, Chappelle-Nadal has only lost one contest: A 2016 Democratic primary where she was defeated by U.S. Congressman Lacy Clay. They have been at odds for years, though both Democrats were opposed to a proposal known as Clean Missouri that overhauled state legislative redistricting.

Here’s what Chappelle-Nadal had to say during the show:

  • She reflected on Steve Stenger’s resignation as St. Louis County executive — and the appointment of Sam Page as his replacement. Chappelle-Nadal was a critic of Stenger throughout his administration, and ended up endorsing his Republican opponent, Rick Stream, in the 2014 election.
  • Page and Chappelle-Nadal served in the Missouri House together for two terms. She said she’s confident he can restore order to a county government reeling from Stenger’s actions. Stenger pleaded guilty on Friday to aggressively steering county contracts to his political contributors.
  • While Chappelle-Nadal has been in favor of St. Louis becoming a municipality in St. Louis County for some time, she’s opposed to Better Together’s city-county merger proposal. She ended up supporting Rep. Dean Plocher’s amendment requiring local approval before any merger can occur.
  • Chappelle-Nadal discussed why she ended up voting for Plocher’s amendment which would give voters a chance to undo the Clean Missouri state legislative redistricting system. She’s joined other African American Democrats in opposing the plan, contending it could hurt black political representation in the General Assembly.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Maria Chappelle-Nadal on Twitter: @mariachappellen

Music: “Drive” by R.E.M.

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