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Steve Roberts files to take on U.S. Rep. Cori Bush for St. Louis Congressional seat

The race sets up a showdown between Bush, a Ferguson protester-turned outspoken progressive politician, and Roberts, a state Senator.
Credit: Steve Roberts

ST. LOUIS — Missouri Sen. Steve Roberts filed Monday to take on Congresswoman Cori Bush in the August Democratic primary, according to the Missouri Secretary of State's office.

The race sets up a showdown between Bush, a Ferguson protester-turned outspoken progressive politician, and Roberts, a former state House representative who entered the Senate last year and is viewed by some as the best hope for establishment interests to win back the heavily Democratic first district seat.

Roberts said in a statement that "we all had the highest hopes for Congresswoman Bush but she's shown over the past year and a half that she's not interested in the job of United States Representative. We don't have time for slogans; I'm ready to get to work, bring people together, and deliver results for the families of the 1st district." His campaign also cited controversial votes by Bush, including against a ban on Russian oil imports in response to the war in Ukraine and an infrastructure bill.

Bush's campaign didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Bush in 2020 defeated longtime Congressman Lacy Clay in the Democratic primary, a shocking upset she followed with an easy general-election victory. 

A former St. Louis mayoral aide, Michael Daniels, and others — Ron Harshaw, Earl Childress and David Koehr — have also filed to take on Bush in the Democratic primary, but Roberts, whose father is a well-known St. Louis businessman and former city alderman, has the most name ID.

Roberts' biography touts his time with a firm called AP Wireless Infrastructure Partners, and says he was on a team of attorneys responsible for managing more than $200 million in company assets. He later served as a prosecutor for the St. Louis Circuit Court, and says he participated in more than 100 cases ranging from minor weapons offenses to homicides.

Currently the Democratic whip for the minority caucus in the Senate, Roberts, a captain in the Missouri Air National Guard, previously served two terms in the Missouri House, from 2017 to 2020.

Roberts' opponents may look to exploit other elements of his record.

Roberts in 2015 was arrested on suspicion of second-degree sodomy involving a student, 25. But he was never charged and maintains his innocence.

The next year, Cora Faith Walker, an incoming state representative at the time, accused Roberts of rape. He denied the claim. No criminal charges were filed after a review from a special prosecutor, and both parties dropped lawsuits they'd filed against each other. Walker, 37, died earlier this month.

Read the full story on the St. Louis Business Journal website.

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