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Missouri's March 15 primary draws Cruz, Bill Clinton, Trump to St. Louis area

Proposition B asks to voters to allow their local city or county to continue collecting sales tax on cars bought out of state
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Those headed to the polls in St. Louis in 2012 will be voting in an election run by a different St. Louis Board of Elections. Three new members were named today by Gov. Jay Nixon. (via Flickr/ Daniel Morrison)

Updated 3 p.m. March 8 with Trump details -- Former President Bill Clinton will be in St. Louis on Tuesday to campaign for his wife, Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton.

On the Republican side: Donald Trump plans to be in town Friday; Sen. Ted Cruz is slated to be here Saturday to address St. Louis County Republicans, said county GOP chairman Bruce Buwalda. His wife Heidi Cruz was in the Metro East on Tuesday morning.

The  visits underscore how the March 15 primaries in Missouri and Illinois could be significant after all in determining the Republican and Democratic nominees. Presidential candidates who come to this area get media coverage that includes two states with delegates to be decided next week.

Trump plans to speak at the Peabody Opera House, 1400 Market St., at noon Friday. The event is free, but peoplewill need tickets. Doors open at 9 a.m.

Buwalda said Sunday that Cruz has agreed to headline the county GOP’s Lincoln-Reagan Dinner, slated for next Saturday at the Orlando Gardens Event Center in Maryland Heights. Heidi Cruz was at Eckert's Country store on Tuesday morning as part of statewide swing across Illinois.

The county chairman added that he’d been advised that Cruz might have to cancel if there’s a conflict with the funeral of Nancy Reagan, widow of former President Ronald Reagan. She died Sunday.

Clinton will headline a late afternoon rally Tuesday at the District 9 Machinists Hall in Bridgeton. Doors open at 4:30 p.m., with the event scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m.

The last time he was in the region campaigning for his wife was in 2008, when the duo packed McCluer North High School in Florissant right before that year’s Missouri presidential primary. Barack Obama narrowly won.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas
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Ted CRuz

Bill Clinton is slated to visit Kansas City on Tuesday as well. (He canceled that visit, with the campaign blaming bad weather in the area.)

Clinton’s stop comes just days after his wife’s Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders, drew several thousand to a rally Friday at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.

Clinton’s Missouri visit also comes just days after most of the state’s top Democrats gathered in Hannibal for the annual Democrat Days festivities.

Jo Mannies is a freelance journalist and former political reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.