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Maryland congressman to aid former aide, Casas, in legislative bid

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 10, 2012 - Martin Casas, a local candidate for the state House's 79th District, has snagged a Maryland member of Congress -- who's also his former boss -- to headline a March fundraiser in Washington D.C.

U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md. and former chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, will aid Casas, who worked as the congressman's deputy field director in Van Hollen's first -- and successful -- bid for Congress in 2002.

The Washington event for Casas will be at Pi Pizzeria on March 13

Casas resides in the city's Tower Grove area and runs Frontyard Features. He's former president of the St. Louis Young Democrats.

"It is an absolute honor to have Congressman Van Hollen host an event for me. Almost ten years after I had the honor to work on his first race, I still consider having worked to elect the congressman as one of my greatest successes," Casas said. "It is such an honor to have him host an event for me. The congressman set a high standard by which I have judged every candidate I have ever worked for, and now I am determined to meet that standard myself."

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.

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