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Suit seeks to delay filing period for Mo. Senate

Monday's "St. Louis on the Air" will cover the pressing legal issues of the day.
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Update at 5:46 p.m.:

According to Mo. Sec. of State Robin Carnahan's office, Judge Daniel Green of the Cole County Circuit Court has denied the temporary restraining order. The decision means candidate filing for Missouri state Senate districts will begin Tuesday morning, as scheduled.

Updated at 4 p.m. with comments from plaintiff

There's another twist in the ongoing legal battle over the new districts for the Missouri State Senate.

A lawsuit filed today in Cole County asks Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan to delay tomorrow's scheduled opening of the candidate filing period for state Senate seats. Attorney David G. Brown, who successfully challenged the maps as originally drawn by a judicial panel, says because the new maps have not been finalized, the filing period is unconstitutional.

"I would think it just makes sense for the electorate that we would wait, because then they won't be confused if the lines are changed for some reason," said Molly Teichman, a Republican activist who is part of today's legal challenge.

Teichman was also a plaintiff in the lawsuit that led the state Supreme Court to reject the first set of state Senate maps. She says this time around, she has no problem with the district boundaries.

After lawmakers tried and failed to approve legislation that would delay the opening of the filing period by as much as a month, Carnahan gave this advice to potential state Senate candidates: wait until the maps are finalized, or file in one district, then withdraw and re-file (for an additional fee) in the correct district if the boundaries change.

But Teichman says when it comes to elections, appearances matter.

"People put great effort into when they will file, and whether they will be showing their intention by waiting, or whether the waiting makes them look like the don't intend to file at all," she said.

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.