by Jordan Shapiro
The race between incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill and U.S. Rep. Todd Akin enters the final leg with less than two weeks until election day.
McCaskill, however, has slowed down her campaign efforts in order to be with her mother, Betty Anne McCaskill, who is in intensive care at a St. Louis hospital.
Claire McCaskill has cancelled a statewide “get out the vote” tour and her spokeswomen, Caitlin Legacki, said the senator will not leave St. Louis while her mother is in intensive care.
Betty Anne McCaskill, 84, was the first woman to serve on Columbia’s City Council and has been a fixture in her daughter’s campaigns.
Akin’s campaign Twitter account said the congressman’s “thoughts and prayers” are with McCaskill and her mother.
The St. Louis congressman has been traveling around the state trying to draw attention to $40 million from the 2009 stimulus law that went to companies affiliated with McCaskill’s husband, Joe Shephard.
Akin campaign spokesman Rick Tyler also published an e-mail exchange with a St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter on Akin’s campaign website. Tyler’s e-mail urged the paper to report on the stimulus money as well as a sexual harassment complaint filed in Illinois against Sugar Creek Realty, a business venture of McCaskill and her husband. Neither the senator nor her husband are named in the lawsuit.
Tyler’s e-mail was a response to a message from Post-Dispatch reporter Kevin McDermott, who was seeking comment on a report of Akin’s three arrests in 1985 for protesting at abortion clinics.
Tyler also posted McDermott’s e-mail including the first part of the the Post’s article on Akin’s arrests, which had yet to be published.
Real Clear Politics, a poll aggregation website, has McCaskill leading Akin by 5 points.