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#F150CampaignTour: The Missouri Times hits the 2020 campaign trail

  

The Missouri Times is hitting the campaign trail ahead of the 2020 election with our #F150CampaignTour. Catch up with candidates and Missouri voters alike through our reporter notebooks below as we travel around the state ahead of Election Day. 

Check out more election coverage here. 


Tuesday, November 3 — Election Day

6:30 p.m. | The Missouri Times team with Mike Kehoe

We’re ending our campaign tour at the Mike Kehoe watch party because where else would you end the #F150 Campaign Tour but at the watch party of the candidate who sells #F150. I just hope he has Bud Light and not just Miller — that would be terribly anti-German. 

10 a.m. | Scott Faughn with Sam Page in Ellisville 

Sam Page was hitting 14 polling places today. Because the lines almost everywhere were so long, he was able to stand well past the 25 feet and ask folks if they had any questions. This might be annoying if was some random guy in a small town — and at times it might be annoying to have the county executive ask that. In this situation, with COVID and the high profile nature of his job with COVID, lots of folks were glad to share their opinion. 

It made me think that he hasn’t had any time to be bored in his job. He took over after his predecessor resigned and went to federal prison. Since then, there’s been racial unrest and tensions and a pandemic. His take to me was the best campaigning he did was trying to do a good job as county executive. The Republicans did not put a lot of resources behind his opponent, Paul Berry. His take was, and I think it’s true, the St. Louis County Republicans were going full speech for Mark Mantovani in the primary. There wasn’t a large resource push for Berry. However, it’s my opinion Berry will do better than people think because all politics is local, and this will be about COVID pretty quickly. 

I asked him where the budget was, and he said it’s off 7 to 10 percent in St. Louis County depending on where at. Why this should matter to you if you’re reading this in Joplin or Dexter: Most of your state services are funded through his constituency. 

The thing that struck me as we stood there in line, most folks were nice and smiled. A few voiced their opinions about shutdowns, but most were relatively nice about it. There was one lady I noticed who I think sums up most regular people’s honest take on COVID. She walked by with her husband and smiled. My guess, from what I saw them drive up in, they’re Republicans. And certainly some Republicans will vote for Sam Page today. But because this line was very long, she moved up a few spaces, but then turned around and came back. She told Page, “I just want you to know that I used to think your shutdown and masks were ridiculous and didn’t like it. Then I lost my uncle to COVID. Now, I’m your biggest supporter, not just of you personally, but of all the policies of trying to stop the spread because it’s a really terrible way to die.” I really think most people come down on COVID like this: If it has not affected you, you’re annoyed. But the minute it affects you, you’re much more of a zealot. 


Sunday, November 1 — 2 days until election

4 p.m. | Scott Faughn with Yinka Faleti at the Boone County Democrats’ headquarters 

I went to the start of the lit drop at the Boone County Dems’ headquarters where they started sending people out around 4 p.m. Baker introduced Yinka Faleti. I was very interested to hear him give a speech since the ones I’d heard in the past were excellent. He didn’t disappoint. His message is on the ballot: voter inclusion versus voter suppression. He equated this to the fourth quarter of the game with 2 minutes left and the Tigers have the ball. He said it’s not about just dropping off literature, but hope. 

His staff damn near reminds me of the “West Wing” — they’re all young, eager, and talented. My assumption is even if Democrats don’t win any of these races Tuesday, most of his staff will have job offers by the end of the week somewhere. 

I talked to Yinka privately afterward. We talked about him being from Nigeria, going to Wash U, serving in the military, and working at Bryan Cave. I asked him why secretary of state, and he said that’s where the action is; it’s his dream job. But that’s the answer you give to a typical reporter. I wanted the real reason and pressed him. He finally said in Nigeria in the 1960s, they were a democracy in every sense of the word. They were a thriving nation and set to make an impact on the world. Today, they’re a democracy in name only. The public has done nothing but suffer as democracy has eroded through the erosion of institutions. He said it started with saying it’s okay to make it a little harder for this one group to vote and then adding more rules for this other group. Then leaders essentially select the electorate, and they are no longer beholden to them. 

I asked him why he chose to take on Ashcroft. Most observers would view him as one of the toughest statewide officeholders to unseat. He said it was more about the office than the opponent. As for the name ID, he said Republicans with Trump and Missourians with Lacy Clay have pushed back against some of those legacies in politics. He said Ashcroft has rightfully been criticized for what he’s one in office, like supporting the notarization of a ballot before getting it sent off, adding one more hoop for voters. He said even though that was a decision in the legislature, Ashcroft pushed for it. He said he should have had leadership that actually mattered on the issue. 

Faleti said his team believes its met their fundraising goals. All total, they should have close to $1.5 million to spend altogether. When asked if he would have done anything differently, he said hired his campaign manager, Forrest Richardson, even soon. He was very complimentary of him. I was impressed by others too who have been with him. But Richardson is clearly someone who will probably be recruited by Democrats to run in the future. 

We’re almost at the election, and I’m very glad to be here in Columbia where gas is only $1.59. F150s don’t run on hope. 

2:30 p.m. | Scott Faughn at Sts. Peter and Paul in Boonville with Judy Baker

Attended a drive-through fundraiser with former Rep. Judy Baker. She said last time it was Stephen Webber running in Boone County — but it was Cooper County that brought him over. She’s really making an effort there. She’s been to church picnics, parades, and rodeos. She’s spent time looking people in the eye to earn their trust. If she got 35 percent of the vote in Cooper County, she thinks it will be impossible to loose. 

I asked her if there’s a difference between campaigning in Columbia where there’s a mask ordinance and in Cooper County where there’s not. She said people are receptive of her knocking on doors and spending time outside, especially as the weather has gotten milder. And she always wears a mask. Boonville and Cooper County are places of individuals, she said. She said she misses having events so she goes to the ones she can where she can socially distance and wear a mask. 

I asked her about the difference between running statewide and for state representative and Senate. She said statewide, you’re totally beholden to the top of the ticket. When you’re running in your own area, there’s a lot of control and she likes that. COVID has really impacted her this race because she’s wanted to knock more doors. Mostly they have just done lit drops. I asked her: You’ve made a couple of runs that when you filed, you felt they were competitive but by election time, Democrats weren’t going to have a chance in Missouri. That might have soured some people. She said she just wants to serve people and truly believes, because of her background and work and expertise, she can make a difference. She has a fire in her and wants to help folks. 

She told me she’s never afraid to go up to a Trump voter’s house. She said she’s had a lot of great conversations — and some of her favorite conversations, in fact — have been with Trump supporters. She even thinks she may have won some over. She likes to talk to them about what’s really on their minds. 

She said she’s troubled by the person who went up to the Rowden home. No family should have to go through that and her heart went out to him, his wife, and children, she said. 

Her camp believes as much as 20 percent of the vote is already in due to early voting. She talked about her campaign: They have had 25,000 voter contacts at the door with no paid staff. She said there’s a lot of time during the campaign when folks did not think she was going to have a good chance to win. It was after the primary when people started focusing on the race and doing some polling and she’s gotten more support. She said some people came in pretty late, but it made her think about the people who have aided her all the way through. She plans to spend some time on Tuesday calling people who helped her from the start to thank them. 

1 p.m. | Scott Faughn at the Roy D. Williams Law Office in Cooper County

I started the day off in Cooper County with Bill Betteridge, a rural Democrat, who is running in a very Republican district for HD 48. Cooper County is usually 70/30 Republican. 

He felt the spark was in him. He’s a former educator and on the co-op board, and it just struck him to get involved. I mentioned a lot of Democrats have run as Republicans just as Republicans have run as Democrats in an area that is run by just one party. I asked why he didn’t do that. He said his aunt used to tell him stories about President Truman and others and he’s clung to those conversations and memories. He’s a pro-life, pro-gun Democrat, he said. He wants a chance to serve, and if voters don’t like him, they can vote him out in two years. 

Tim Taylor, the Republican, pulled off an upset in the primary. The race is a little close, but Betteridge knows it’s an uphill battle. It’s interesting to talk to a guy who is waving the Democrat’s banner in a rural area where it’s generally not as popular. 


Saturday, October 31 — 3 days until election

10 a.m. | Scott Faughn with Republican bus tour at Arrowhead Building Supply in St. Peters

Mike Deering of the Cattleman’s Association came out of the gate firing. Like most Republican events, this one started out with a pledge, prayer, and anthem. About 500 people were packed in the side parking lot. 

Deering talked about the size of the crowd and said it was a mockery of the mainstream media. He made fun of the Post-Dispatch reporter who didn’t understand why Parson wore gloves earlier in the week when it was cold outside. He said most of the media locks common sense — and some people wonder why I’m so thrilled and eager to be put in a different light from them.  

Deering introduced Eric Schmitt who had a law and order message, including a McCloskey shoutout. Then he talked about the lack of enthusiasm for Joe Biden and said he saw more signs for firewood in Missouri than Biden. Everybody liked that. 

Schmitt filled the entire state. He looks like he’s meant for a campaign speech. And whether it’s two or four years from now, he’ll be giving another one. 

By this point, Jay Ashcroft has lost his voice. Mike Kehoe was introduced as the personification of the American dream. Deering discussed how he started work at 15, was one of six kids to a single mother, and became the youngest owner of a Ford dealership in the country. That’s a story this #F150CampaignTour had to note. 

They talked about how the Buy Missouri program helps other Missourians live their American dream. They also discussed “what’s really on the ballot:” freedom versus socialism. A few weeks ago at 11 a.m. on a Sunday, Galloway had a pro-abortion fundraiser. If you celebrated abortion with her on a Sunday, you got a free cocktail. That same Sunday he was with the governor and First Lady at church in Lee’s Summit. While at church, they thanked God for their blessings — and that’s the Missouri of Mike Parson, Kehoe said. They said Galloway’s Missouri was summed up in a couple of news stories on the front page last week: a woman broke a window and stole a bunch of Nike shoes and wouldn’t be prosecuted; another woman was arrested at her son’s sporting event for not wearing a mask. That’s not the Missouri we want, Kehoe said and left the stage to a completely fired up crowd. 

Congressman Jason Smith was introduced next as a hillbilly from southeast Missouri, a moniker he proudly owned. It’s funny to me how the media and St. Louis elitists think being a hillbilly is a bad thing; personally, I think being an elitist is a bad thing, but I guess it’s all about your perspective. Smith came out sporting an outstanding election beard. He discussed the importance of voting down ticket and defeating Democrats. 

Ann Wagner came up and brought the heat. She said she needs everyone to turn out Tuesday. She’s leaving this event to go walking and knocking doors. She said the choice has never been clearer: mobs and chaos and riots and socialism versus freedom. She took a while to list all of the tax increases Jill Schupp has supported — which took a wile. She has spent $30 million to take the seat from Wagner, but the congresswoman said Schupp will still come up short because her views of socialism and liberalism is not what the district wants. 

Sarah Sanders came up next and gave a long talk about being a mother and working in the White House. 

Then it was Parson’s turn. He laid out his argument about the absolute case for why he should win and Nicole Galloway shouldn’t. He mentioned the pro-abortion fundraiser. He spoke directly about abortion and said if Galloway was elected, she’d be inline with Virginia’s governor and would support having a baby and then deciding whether to abort. He said there were 2,000 abortions in Missouri before he became governor and last year there were 50. He gave shoutouts to state Sens. Bill Eigel and Bob Onder, both in attendance. He said when you send Christians to Jefferson City and Washington, real change happens. He mentioned those 50 abortions and said they’re not done yet. 

He also said he’s worn the badge for 22 years, and it bothers him to see elected Democrats want to defund the police. He spoke about guns and said he was proud of his A rating from the NRA. 

This event was probably the best, most professional event I’ve been to this cycle. Bus tours are ridiculously hard. Steele Shippy and his team deserve enormous credit as does Uniting Missouri and its team. It was an outstanding event, albeit a little long. Most Republicans who were there were signed up to go knock doors and put up signs afterward. And I always appreciate a good Rolling Stones song. 

Something surprising will have to happen not to see that statewide ticket of Republicans elected. 

8:30 a.m. | Scott Faughn at UFCW Local 655 in Ballwin 

They were organizing a massive lit drop at the UFCW Local 655 halls his morning. (THE MISSOURI TIMES/SCOTT FAUGHN)

They were organizing a massive lit drop at the UFCW Local 655 halls his morning. They were very careful to say they wanted to give everyone routes of about three hours so they could be home with their families on Halloween. They had the full roster of Democratic statewide and local candidates’ signs lined up. 

Merri Berry has proven to be very competent for the Missouri ALF-CIO. They’ve made 50,000 door contacts and 25,000 calls — most of them from labor-to-labor members. 

Dave Cook, head of the UFCW Local 655, hosted the event and gave me his take. The big crop of volunteers is due to the fact that people want sanity and believe in science and want decency back in government. An anecdote from him: Cook said he’s driven around the neighborhood for the last 25 years, which is traditionally very Republican. However, he’s seen Biden signs reach parity with Republican signs this year. There’s not more Democratic signs, but he said it is about even, and this is a place that’s always been pretty Republican. 

I talked to Pat White, head of the St. Louis Labor Council. Pat thought the enthusiasm was because of good candidates. 

I talked to another guy. It was his first time responding to the request from the union to come out and volunteer. He said he couldn’t bring himself to vote for Clinton in 2016 and ended up skipping it on the ballot. But he does like Biden and think he would do well as president. 

Jake Hummel introduced Jill Schupp to her new campaign song. (THE MISSOURI TIMES/SCOTT FAUGHN)

Cook, newly 60, fired up the crowd like he wasn’t a day over 59. Deb Lavender made her pitch in her appropriately colored lavender mask. Jake Hummel introduced Jill Schupp to her new campaign song. It was clear he thought about dancing with her to the song but wisely thought better of it. Schupp’s stump speech was reminiscent of the themes of her race. She talked about how Nov. 3 was Mother’s Day, Equality Day, and Labor Day. She criticized Wagner for not working for working families, but instead for special interests. I could tell her stump speech has gotten considerably better. She did well and was well received b the crowd. She ended by publicly thanking Merri Berry and Steven Webber for organizing labor during this cycle. 


Friday, October 30 — 4 days until election

5 p.m. | Kaitlyn Schallhorn checks in virtually with Kathy Ellis 

Kathy Ellis said she put 75,000 miles on her call when she challenged Congressman Jason Smith in 2018. This year, it’s more about virtual and outdoor events as well as reaching voters through phone calls and social media.

Ellis said she feels her district has been “abandoned in so many ways.”

One of the things she’s most proud of through her campaign, she said, was giving other people a chance to volunteer and be a part of politics. She said one of the biggest things she’s heard from those in the 8th congressional district is they want to “thrive” and get out of poverty. Towns and people alike are struggling financially, she said.

4 p.m. | Scott Faughn at Sen. Andrew Koenig’s home

Koenig

At around 4 p.m. I stopped by Andrew Koenig’s house. I’m personally confident he’s knocked on more doors than anybody else in Missouri politics: 7,000 doors while he was in the House, around 6,000 in his last Senate race and in this one.

I asked him if he thought the attacks on Rep. Deb Lavender’s campaign were continuing to get more effective, and he made sure to say it wasn’t his campaign but the PAC. I asked if he heard anything at those doors about attacks on his abortion legislation, and he said he had not. He said people talk about COVID, property taxes, and supporting employees.

He showed me a picture of a punchcard with the FOP logo and said it’s one of the centerpieces of his campaign.  He said he will be knocking on doors all the way through Election Day, doing nothing but doors every day. He said the district was changing, and people were not a fan of some of the crass rhetoric of the president, but his policies were still relatively popular with the district. He said he thought the values and the issues for people in his district were what they always have been.

Koenig said the polling places around here were mostly covered and there’s no requirement to wear masks although volunteers are strongly encouraged to.

My sense on the ground is that the district has changed quite a bit, and there was an evolution of his district already happening. The crassness of Trump has probably sped that up. Koenig won by quite a margin four years ago, and those people are still there, but Lavender will have outspent him by a significant amount. If he wins, it’s because he ran a campaign smart enough to identify the single issue that was most important to the district and police.

2 p.m. | Scott Faughn at the Franklin County Clerk’s Office in Union

Most people who were waiting in line to vote at the Franklin County Clerk’s Office in Union were not wearing masks. (THE MISSOURI TIMES/SCOTT FAUGHN)

After lunch, I decided I’d go over and check out where people early vote in Union. The line ran from inside the clerk’s office, outside the door, and down the hall to the elevators. At the bottom, they have someone stationed who sends people up once there is space upstairs. There’s a full lobby of people waiting and standing in line. I chatted with a couple of them. All were Republicans. A couple of them were excited to vote for Trump. One was going to do it, but was not so excited. Franklin County is always overwhelmingly Republican, always has been. 

I talked to Tim Brinker and Dave Henson — two guys who know something about getting votes in Franklin County. I asked them why people who are voting for Trump are not as excited here as in other places like the Bootheel. Their opinion was people in this county are older and more conservative who live more conservative lives. They’re very Republican but not as excited as they would be about someone like George W. Bush. 

The long lines don’t suggest COVID is the reason why people are voting early because a majority showed up without masks. From my perspective, if you’re going to vote early because you’re concerned about COVID, you’re going to wear a mask. 

12 p.m. | Scott Faughn at the White Rose Cafe in Union

At the White Rose Cafe in Union, two retired women said they weren’t going to vote for President Trump this year but ended up doing so because of the “riots.” (THE MISSOURI TIMES/SCOTT FAUGHN)

I had Gussy with me while I had lunch at the White Rose Cafe. Two ladies who were both retired came over, and I asked them to sit down with us. They both told me they were Republicans their whole lives but didn’t like Donald Trump. However, they voted for him in 2016 because they disliked Hillary Clinton even more. They weren’t going to vote for president at all this year but ended up voting for Trump because of the “riots.” 

I talked to another guy who said he voted for Trump last time and voted for him this time around — but only because Mike Parson was on the ballot. He said he wouldn’t have voted at all if Parson wasn’t on the ballot. 

I also talked to Becky who has worked at the cafe for a very long time. She’s still going to vote for Gov. Parson, but if he tries to shut the state down again, he better be careful about coming into the White Rose Cafe — he might catch one in the mouth. She’s older and thinks COVID is a bad things and very sad, but she said, “You’re never going to get people to wear a mask for a year. It’s just not going to happen.” She recalled having one person in the cafe who went outside to smoke and caught their mask on fire. It’s at that point she realized it’s a crazy time to be alive, she said. 


Thursday, October 29 — 5 days until election

2:30 | Scott Faughn at Deb Lavender’s office in Kirkwood

Rep. Deb Lavender’s campaign hasn’t been knocking too many doors due to COVID-19, but they are planning a big lit drop this weekend. (THE MISSOURI TIMES/SCOTT FAUGHN)

Deb Lavender was doing doors for two weeks before the campaign shut down from the pandemic. But she really hasn’t done any since because she didn’t think it would be responsible until recently when she’s started doing a few doors. They’ve done some lit drops and things like that though. Volunteers have also gotten attention for holding out signs on busy intersections. It’s been widely noticed in the difference. We’ll see what kind of affect that has on Election Day, but it has been noticed. 

They’re going to do a big lit drop this weekend and will have someone at all 52 polling places on Election Day. They’re also preparing PPE packets for people — complete with lavender masks. 

Rep. Deb Lavender’s campaign is preparing PPE packets for people — complete with lavender masks. (THE MISSOURI TIMES/SCOTT FAUGHN)

I asked Lavender why she decided to run because Andrew Koenig did win by 14 points in 2014. She said she felt it was trending in the right direction. 

Lavender said she thought Koenig’s positions were not moderate but extreme. We talked about Republicans, who generally run on taxes, guns, and abortions. In this district, at this point there’s the logic: For every vote a radical position on guns gets you, it looses you another one. Lavender pointed to Koenig’s abortion bill and brought up that it did not include exemptions for victims of rape or incest. She said that was too extreme for the district. Also, state taxes aren’t a great issue to people who can afford to live in their more affluent district. Property taxes, however, are more of an issue. Lavender pitched it as something people blame the state for. 

We also talked about the issue of the cycle: policing. It’s my view that Republicans don’t have a large advantage in this district on guns or abortion. Taxes aren’t a hardline issue there. But policing is. Lavender told me she voted for Prop P. I asked her about the ad running with her speaking on the committee. She said she was just asking questions. She said she likes body and dash cameras. I’ve talked to several cops, myself, and they’ve grown to like them, too. Many won’t go on patrol without cameras because of the protection it affords them. Lavender said she’s not anti-police unless supporting body cameras and having two officers in the car are anti-police.

Lavender said she wants her reputation in the Senate to be a moderate person who is a business owner and is going to represent her district. (THE MISSOURI TIMES/SCOTT FAUGHN)

I talked to Lavender about her time in the House. When she came in, she was viewed as pretty aggressive on a lot of issues. But as she became — even something her political opponents would say — an expert on the budget, it boosted her confidence. She agreed she’s gotten more confident as she has become a more prominent member of the Budget Committee. 

I asked her what she wants her reputation to be in the Senate. She said a moderate person who is a business owner and is going to represent her district. 

It looks to me like this is a tight race on the ground — and if anything, Lavender might have the slight advantage, but it will be very, very close. 

11:30 am | Scott Faughn at Bobby’s Place in Valley Park

The main thing people cared about at Bobby’s Place was shutdowns and masks. (GOOGLE)

I went to Bobby’s Place for lunch today. The only thing people there cared about shutdowns and masks. They all felt like masks were a good thing but were terrified of another shutdown. 

The manager said something interesting: She said she didn’t mind the masks, and they have signs up everywhere. Most customers will try to adhere to the rules, but if they’re there for a while, there’s no way to really get people to keep masks on the entire time. The manager said she’s afraid they’ll do another shutdown, and if that’s the case, she’s unsure of how she’s going to get her kids Christmas presents. She said, “For the first time in my life, I Googled on my phone if there are places that give out toys for kids who needed them. I’ll never forget that.” When she heard about Chicago starting to shut down again, she started thinking about charity. That was pretty startling. 

I asked how that affects her vote, and she said she’s afraid. She said she doesn’t really vote and had to figure out her polling place. She said she is voting for Republicans when they’ll make shutdown decisions and for Democrats in all the other races. 

I talked to one guy who said if you tip well enough, you don’t have to wear a mask. I talked to another woman on her lunch break. She’s been working from home, and her kids are at home. She and her sister have started taking turns while they work from home and keeping the kids. She said she’s voting for Joe Biden even though she’s normally a Republican because she thinks there should have been a vaccine by now. Because there’s not, she thinks it’s Donald Trump’s fault and is more pissed off about it. She’s also voting for Deb Lavender for state Senate because she’s worried her kids will end up going to school with “machine guns.” 


Wednesday, October 28 — 6 days until election 

7 p.m. | Scott Faughn at The Clubhouse Bar in St. Louis

The general state of play at the Clubhouse Bar was Donald Trump may be a jerk, but he has a way of finding one or two things you agree with him on, and that’s how he hooks you in. (THE MISSOURI TIMES/SCOTT FAUGHN)

I went to the Clubhouse Bar on Gravois Road right in the 1st district. While I was there, I talked to plenty of folks. First, I talked to the bartender who said while Donald Trump has been president, people talk about politics more. He doesn’t mind. Most people he talks to are big fans of Trump, but the ones who aren’t will talk all night about how much they hate him. 

Most people in the bar were union folks, good people. The bartender personally hasn’t decided if he’s going to vote yet. It all depends on his schedule. He’s willing to wait about 30 minutes. If he has time, he’ll do it; if not, he’ll let other people make the decision. 

I also talked to an older pipe fitter. He was a big Trump supporter, however, he’s voting for Doug Beck because he’s “not like those other ones.” He’s voting for Gov. Parson as well. In fact, the thought Beck would be the only Democrat he’s voting for because he’s a union man. 

I asked everyone I ran into if they knew what Amendment 3 or Clean Missouri was. Not one person in the bar had an idea, and in fact, they thought I was annoying for even asking. 

I talked to another lady who had been coming to the bar religiously — since it was named something else a long tie ago. She had already voted. She cast her vote for Jill Schupp, Doug Beck, and Nicole Galloway. But she voted for Trump because she was sick of the media “making it out like every problem in the world was her fault.” When she found out I was in the media, she wasn’t happy. But I assured her everyone else in the media hates me, and she bought me a Bud Light. 

I asked the bartender if he could point me in the direction of one of the Trump haters he talked about. He did on my solemn oath that I would wait until he wasn’t around before I talked to him. I kept my word and eventually talked to the guy. He was old school and called himself a Kennedy Democrat. He proceeded to tell me how every problem we’ve ever had was Trump’s fault. The bartender was right: People who don’t like Trump, they’ll tell you about it. It took a very long time to get that conversation anywhere close to wound down. But when I did, it reminds you just how Trump has managed to make all of modern culture about him. This Kennedy Democrat told me he’s voted straight Democrat in every election since right to work was on the ballot in the 70s. 

After I bought him a beer — just so I could leave — I made one more trip through the bar and tried to find someone with a different take. I ran into a die-hard Republican and his wife. But are strong Republicans, but neither was a huge Trump fan. However, they both were fans of Ann Wagner. They said they’re going to vote for Trump because of his support for cops. They mentioned they almost didn’t vote for him after Howard Stern talked on his radio show about how Trump truly didn’t like people who support him. But more than that, they said they didn’t like how radical Democrats have become. Both have given money to Ann Wagner. 

The general state of play at the Clubhouse Bar was Donald Trump may be a jerk, but he has a way of finding one or two things you agree with him on, and that’s how he hooks you in. 

6 p.m. | Scott Faughn at AFL-CIO Union Hall off Gravois Rd. in Affton

At the AFL-CIO headquarters, labor members call other labor members. They have language they can follow if they so choose, but they’re allowed to have their own voice when making calls. (THE MISSOURI TIMES/SCOTT FAUGHN)

After visiting with Rep. Beck, I went to the AFL-CIO political headquarters off Gravois Rd. in Affton. You walk in and they have different teams of people coming in. They take Google Chrome books and flip phones and let the members decide what candidates they want to call or which grouping of candidates — and they call other union members. It’s labor members calling other labor members and asking them to vote for candidates endorsed by the AFL-CIO board. 

They didn’t give me a concrete number, but they said they’ve made several thousand calls to labor households each day. 

They only call union households and talk about labor issues. Labor members are the largest group of ticket-splitters in the state. They offer folks some messaging if they want it, but they let them have their own voice. 

They’re also doing some Amendment 3 stuff, encouraging voters to choose against it. The main work, however, has been in support of Doug Beck, Deb Lavender, Jill Schupp, and Nicole Galloway. 

They’ll also have lit drops coordinated for Election Day to help with turnout. But they’ve done well with having a fully automated, contactless setup out of concern for COVID-19

4 p.m. | Scott Faughn with Rep. Doug Beck in St. Louis County

Rep. Doug Beck said he’s already voted, and it was a fairly easy process. He waited about an hour to cast his ballot. (THE MISSOURI TIMES/SCOTT FAUGHN)

Kicked off our #F150CampaignTour with Rep. Doug Beck, who is running for state Senate in SD 1. He met with the Rockwood Labor Office and stopped by the AFL-CIO campaign headquarters to make some calls to undecided voters. 

He talks about the district, an older district, and hasn’t knocked doors since COVID-19. Instead, they’ve done a lot of phone banking and calling undecided voters. They’ve set up a remote phone banking system where they can still chart progress from their homes. Beck says it’s gone pretty well. 

They’ll also be doing some GOTV door-hanging pieces around their Democratic base. 

Rep. Doug Beck’s Senate campaign plans to hang some GOTV door-hanging pieces ahead of Election Day. (THE MISSOURI TIMES/SCOTT FAUGHN

Beck said he voted yesterday, and it took him about an hour. He said it was a pretty easy process and had no problem voting. 

All 47 polling places will be covered on Election Day. Right now, they don’t have a way to take out people that have already voted early from their call list — so that’s a bit of a challenge. But they’ll continue to cover all polling places on Election Days in shifts of about three. 

I talked to Beck about the issues. He said a lot of labor issues were big among constituents as well as kitchen table issues. I asked him about Republicans’ top attack of the cycle: defunding police. He said he’s never been for defunding police and has a pretty strong track record to back it up. One of the first things he did in the legislature was name a prominent stretch of Hwy. 30 in St. Louis County after police Officer Blake Snyder who was fatally shot in the line of duty in 2016. 

One of the first things Rep. Doug Beck did in the legislature was name a prominent stretch of Hwy. 30 after a fallen St. Louis County office. (THE MISSOURI TIMES/SCOTT FAUGHN