Jo Mannies

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter.  She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

When U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill claimed during her campaign that she was the top target of conservative groups, she turned out to be right.

McCaskill, a Democrat, was hit with $39.5 million in attack ads by outside groups – more than any other Senate candidate in the country in the Nov. 6 election.

Republican Josh Hawley, the Republican who defeated McCaskill, was the target of $31.6 million in outside spending. Almost $30 million of it was used in attack ads against him.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley has defeated U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, giving the state and the country a new Republican in the Senate and President Donald Trump a sought-after victory.

“This was about defending our way of life. It was about renewing it for a new day,” Hawley said, touching off deafening cheers from supporters gathered in Springfield at the University Plaza hotel. “And tonight the people of Missouri said we believe in that way of life, it's not the past, it’s the future."

As Missouri’s nationally-watched Senate race enters the final few days, incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill and GOP challenger Josh Hawley focused Monday on their core campaign messages as they stumped in St. Louis.

For Hawley, it was voting for President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees. And for McCaskill, it was protecting key health care benefits in the Affordable Care Act.

As she battles for a possible third term, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill appears to be embracing her reputation as a dogged competitor who can give as good as she gets.

And she gives some of the credit to her mother, Betty McCaskill, who was the first woman elected to the Columbia City Council.

After Claire McCaskill lost the governor's race in 2004, she said her mother advised her to ignore the old Democratic state adage of focusing primarily on St. Louis, Kansas City and their suburbs in order to get elected.

Former U.S. Sen. Jim Talent joins St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies on the latest episode of Politically Speaking. The Republican served in various federal and state capacities for more than 20 years.

While Talent is no longer a candidate himself, he is leading the charge against a constitutional amendment known as Clean Missouri.

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