Carnahan, Clay, Britton seek Democratic nomination to 1st congressional district seat

Staff Report

Three candidates are vying for the Democratic nomination to the 1st District congressional seat in the Tuesday, Aug. 7, primary.

U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan, U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay and political newcomer Candace Britton are vying for their party’s nomination in the newly redrawn 1st District. As a result of redistricting, Carnahan’s 3rd District was dismantled and Carnahan now is challenging Clay, the 1st District incumbent.

Asked to identify the most important issue in the race, Britton said, “My platform is to bring manufacturing jobs back to St. Louis. This can be done by lowering our manufacturing corporate tax rate below 15 percent to 0 percent.

“We must bring back our manufacturing base. No country can possibly survive without making its own goods. We are held captive, with our hands tied behind our backs, to depending upon foreign countries — for example, China who is predicted to be the super power by the year 2016, not the United States — for our livelihood. These foreign countries don’t have the people’s best interests at heart. Bringing America’s manufacturing base back home will also provide jobs we so desperately need. Not all Americans qualify for the finances necessary for a college degree. Many people simply need to master a trade, work hard, support their family and live a relatively comfortable and secure life.

“Our needs in congressional District 1 are plenty as well as the needs of our country. Yes, this will mean more sacrifice for us all and hard times to endure for years in order to put our congressional district and country on rock and get us off the sand.”

Carnahan did not respond to the question, while Clay did not respond to a Call questionnaire.

Britton, 48, Richmond Heights, said she is seeking office because “I am living a life akin to yours. I know how the entitlement programs affect you; I understand the process and get earned results. My mission is assessing our needs and using my knowledge of how to make the positive changes we rightfully deserve. I present myself to you as one who has tirelessly fought for what I should be able to rely on to live a full, productive life, enabling me to give back to our community. I feel the above experience qualifies me to serve the constituents of CD1. Hire me to be “Your Voice,” your U.S. Representative.”

Carnahan, 54, St. Louis, and his wife, Debra, have two children. He represented District 59 in the Missouri House from 2001 to 2005. Before he was elected to the Missouri House, he was an attorney in private practice.

Carnahan, who has served in the U.S. House since 2005, said he is seeking re-election “to continue representing the people of the St. Louis region.”

Britton and Carnahan gave the following responses to a Call questionnaire:

Britton said, “Pro-choice. I can assure you that among the three Democratic candidates running for Congress in District 1, I am the most conservative in regard to the pro-life issue. I believe in the sanctity of life, especially human life. I believe abortion kills a human life. However, I also believe that there are situations where a woman cannot see a future for the child, she does not see how she could care for the child and she might even think that it is more humane to end the child’s life rather than to bring him or her into a life of misery and suffering. I believe women should be able to decide whether or not to go through with the pregnancy. Most women do not make this decision lightly and in the end God alone will be the judge and God is merciful.”

Carnahan said, “I support a woman’s right to choose.”

Britton said, “I believe it should only be used in the most heinous of crimes such as a murder of a child or brutal murders of any person.”

Carnahan did not respond to this question.

Britton said, “No. No law will stop killings or people using the gun to commit a crime. It’s the person committing the crime that is the problem not the gun.”

Carnahan said, “As a sportsman myself, I support the second amendment, but we need to ensure that when guns are used they are used safely.”

Britton said, “I am torn as far as vouchers. I would want my child to get the best education as possible. When a school fails it is usually not due to a lack of funds. I would support vouchers as a last resort. If a school after two years cannot get a triple A rating then I would give the kids a voucher and let them go where they can get the education they deserve and need.

Carnahan said, “We need to reform our education system to make our public schools competitive in the 21st-century global economy. I do not support school vouchers.”

Britton said, “We must stop changing the formula to evaluate inflation. We must put food and utilities back into the formulary to get an accurate inflationary rate. This is important for the correct pay raises and income adjustments to be given to you to compensate for the increased inflation. I would seek to accomplish the above by reforming our Tax code, lowering the tax rates on the middle class and small businesses. I would end the death tax — inheritance tax.”

Carnahan said, “I support extending the Bush tax cuts for the 98 percent of American households earning $250,000 or less.”

Britton said, “Yes.”

Carnahan did not respond to this question.

Britton said, “I would have voted no. I want to see us all in the Federal Employees’ Healthcare program, just like your senator and congressperson. We can do this, the plans are many approximately 200 or more and of good quality. The system is already established and it runs efficiently. Healthcare should not be connected to your job.”

Carnahan said, “I support and voted for the Affordable Care Act because it expands affordable health care options and access to millions of Americans.”

Britton said, “No. The everyday American did not gain from it. The seniors, the disabled and unemployed and under-employed did not gain from it. Unless we all benefited then to me it was not a success. Too much money was wasted and some (millions) ended up in foreign countries supporting foreign workers instead of American workers. The federal government is broke it cannot keep paying the salaries and benefits of policemen and women, firemen and women, teachers, et cetera. We just don’t have the money and we cannot keep printing and borrowing the money forever.”

Carnahan said, “The Recovery Act has been successful — it has saved millions of jobs and helped prevent our economy from falling into a full depression.”