|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Missouri's 1st district
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2001
|Preceded by||Bill Clay|
|Member of the Missouri Senate|
from the 4th district
September 1991 – January 2001
|Preceded by||John Bass|
|Succeeded by||Pat Dougherty|
|Member of the Missouri House of Representatives|
from the 59th district
November 1983 – September 1991
|Preceded by||Nathaniel J. "Nat" Rivers|
|Succeeded by||Frank Williamson|
William Lacy Clay Jr.
July 27, 1956
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
(m. 1992; div. 2011)
|Education||University of Maryland, College Park (BA)|
William Lacy Clay Jr. (born July 27, 1956) is an American politician who is the U.S. Representative from Missouri's 1st congressional district, serving since 2001. He is a member of the Democratic Party.
Early life and education
In his teenage years, Clay attended public schools in Silver Spring, Maryland and graduated from Springbrook High School in 1974. He subsequently attended the University of Maryland–College Park, earning a degree in political science and a paralegal certificate. Clay is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. He attended Howard University School of Law, worked as an Assistant Doorkeeper of the United States House of Representatives, and worked on his father's Congressional campaigns.
U.S. House of Representatives
In 2000, Clay Sr. announced his retirement after 32 years in the U.S. Congress on the day filing for re-election closed. As a result, no serious candidates filed for office and Clay Jr. won the Democratic primary—the real contest in this heavily Democratic district—with 60 percent of the vote, and breezed to election in November. He has been reelected six times with no substantive opposition, never dropping below 70 percent of the vote.
For his first six terms, Clay Jr. represented the northern two-thirds of St. Louis, while the southern third was located in the 3rd district, represented by fellow Democrat Russ Carnahan. However, Missouri lost a congressional district as a result of the 2010 census. The final map resulted in the 3rd district being eliminated and the 1st district absorbing all of St. Louis. Clay beat Carnahan in the August 7, 2012 primary, 63% to 34%--all but handing him a seventh term.
- Committee on Financial Services
- Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
- Congressional Black Caucus
- Congressional Progressive Caucus
- United States Congressional International Conservation Caucus
- Congressional Arts Caucus
Since his first term, Clay has been a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. He currently chairs the House Information Policy Subcommittee. He is also a member of the House Financial Services Committee. Ordinarily, House Democrats who serve on the Financial Services Committee would have to give up their other committee assignments. However, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and House Financial Services Committee Chair Barney Frank of Massachusetts granted him a waiver allowing him to remain on the Oversight Committee.
Clay made headlines in early 2007 when, as a member of the Congressional Black Caucus (co-founded by his father), he objected to the possible inclusion of U.S. Representative Steve Cohen of Tennessee, a Caucasian who represents the majority-African American district in Memphis and had made a campaign promise to attempt to become the first white member of the CBC. Although it is not part of the CBC's bylaws that members must be black, all members so far have been black. Clay told Cohen "that he could not collaborate with the Congressional Black Caucus for the benefit of his black constituents 'until your skin turns black.'" In response to press inquiries, he said, "Mr. Cohen asked for admission, and he got his answer. He's white and the Caucus is black. It's time to move on. We have racial policies to pursue and we are pursuing them, as Mr. Cohen has learned. It's an unwritten rule. It's understood." In response to the decision, Cohen stated, "It's their caucus and they do things their way. You don't force your way in." Clay issued an official statement from his office in reply to Cohen's complaint: "Quite simply, Rep. Cohen will have to accept what the rest of the country will have to accept — there has been an unofficial Congressional White Caucus for over 200 years, and now it's our turn to say who can join 'the club.' He does not, and cannot, meet the membership criteria, unless he can change his skin color. Primarily, we are concerned with the needs and concerns of the black population, and we will not allow white America to infringe on those objectives." Some have said that since Cohen represents a district with 60 percent of African American voters, that he has a legitimate interest in helping the goals of the CBC, and the decision should not be solely based on skin color.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington issued a report in June 2007 saying that Clay's sister Michelle Clay is a registered lobbyist for the Kansas City airport and previously for the city of St. Louis. They reported that in the 2006 election cycle, Michelle Clay's law office, Clay and Associates, received $51,800 in consulting fees from her brother's campaign funds, along with an additional $9,963 for reimbursements. In the 2004 election cycle, Michelle Clay's firm received $52,514 for consulting, and in 2002 Michelle Clay herself was paid $32,000 for campaign management and legal fees. During the 2004 election, Clay's campaign reimbursed his father more than $6,000 for book purchases.
In January 2017, Clay became involved in an argument with Republican lawmakers over the right to have a painting continue to hang in the Capitol. The painting in question shows police officers apprehending suspects, and the police are depicted as pigs. The painting is displayed near the police security checkpoint. Rep Duncan D. Hunter took down the painting only to have Clay re-hang it. Several Republicans, including Doug Lamborn, Dana Rohrabacher and Brian Babin took down the painting, only to have Clay re-hang it each time. Clay then attempted to file a complaint with the Capitol Police accusing Hunter of theft. After the architect of the U.S. Capitol ruled that the painting violated the rules for the competition and ordered its permanent removal, Clay sued to overturn the decision, but his suit was dismissed by a federal judge.
During Clay's previous seventeen years in the state legislature, he authored Missouri's Hate Crimes Law which included gender, sexual orientation and sexual identity in the criteria of what constitutes a hate crime.
|Year||Democrat||Votes||Pct||Republican||Votes||Pct||3rd Party||Party||Votes||Pct||3rd Party||Party||Votes||Pct||3rd Party||Party||Votes||Pct|
|2000||William Lacy Clay||149,173||75.21||Z. Dwight Billingsly||42,730||21.54%||Ziah Reddick||Green||3,099||1.56%||Tamara A. Millay||Libertarian||2,253||1.14%||Robert Penningroth||Reform||1,092||0.55%|
|2002||William Lacy Clay||133,946||70.11%||Richard Schwadron||51,755||27.09%||Jim Higgins||Libertarian||5,354||2.80%|
|2004||William Lacy Clay||213,658||75.29%||Leslie L. Farr II||64,791||22.83%||Terry Chadwick||Libertarian||3,937||1.39%||Robert Rehbein||Constitution||1,385||0.49%|
|2006||William Lacy Clay||141,574||72.89%||Mark J. Byrne||47,893||24.66%||Robb E. Cunningham||Libertarian||4,768||2.45%|
|2008||William Lacy Clay||242,570||86.86%||(no candidate)||Robb E. Cunningham||Libertarian||36,700||13.14%||Write-ins||7||0.00%|
|2010||William Lacy Clay||135,907||73.55%||Robyn Hamlin||43,649||23.62%||Julie Stone||Libertarian||5,223||2.83%|
|2012||William Lacy Clay||267,967||78.67%||Robyn Hamlin||60,832||17.86%||Robb E. Cunningham||Libertarian||11,824||3.47%|
|2014||William Lacy Clay||119,315||72.98%||Daniel J. Elder||35,273||21.57%||Robb E. Cunningham||Libertarian||8,906||5.45%|
|2016||William Lacy Clay||236,993||75.47%||Steven G. Bailey||62,714||19.97%||Robb E. Cunningham||Libertarian||14,317||4.56%|
|2018||William Lacy Clay||219,781||80.01%||Robert Vroman||45,867||16.07%||Robb E. Cunningham||Libertarian||8,727||3.02%|
This section of a biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. (July 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Clay and his wife Patricia reside in University City, a historic community in Saint Louis County, Missouri. He is the father of two children: Carol and Will. Besides his official duties, Congressman Clay is a supporter of the William L. Clay Scholarship & Research Fund which has helped send over 300 deserving young people to college. Mr. Clay is also a strong advocate for many nonprofit organizations that build up the St. Louis region. He is an avid reader, a student of history, a sportsman, and a lover of music.
- Rebecca McDowell Cook. Official Manual: State of Missouri 1997-1998. p. 112.
- "Lacy Clay ancestry". Freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved 2015-05-15.
- Sutin, Phil (November 3, 1983). "Clay's Son Runs for Legislature". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. St. Louis, MO. p. 3N – via Newspapers.com.
- Steichen, Girard C. (November 9, 1983). "W. L. Clay Jr. Wins Contest for House". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. St. Louis, MO. p. 4A – via Newspapers.com.
- "UPDATE: House Redistricting Committee Unveils Map". OzarksFirst.com. Archived from the original on 2011-05-11. Retrieved 2011-03-31.
- "William Lacy Clay wins easily over Russ Carnahan". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. August 8, 2012.
- "Missouri – Summary Vote Results". August 8, 2012.
- "Membership". Congressional Black Caucus. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
- "Caucus Members". Congressional Progressive Caucus. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
- "Our Members". U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
- "Membership". Congressional Arts Caucus. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
- "Black Caucus: Whites Not Allowed". The Politico. Retrieved 2007-06-28.
- DiLorenzo, Thomas (2011-02-11) My Associations with Liars, Bigots, and Murderers, LewRockwell.com
- "Family Affair" (PDF). Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-03-25. Retrieved 2007-06-28.
- Marcos, Cristina (January 13, 2017). "Democrat re-hangs painting depicting cops as pigs". The Hill. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
The painting has inflamed tensions on Capitol Hill between the two parties. The Hill asked Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, if the painting would need someone to monitor it around the clock to prevent further removals. "No," Richmond replied. "We might just have to kick somebody's ass and stop them, though."
- Gangitano, Alex (April 26, 2017). "Clay Brings Controversial Costituent Painting to House Floor". Roll Call. Retrieved May 16, 2017.
- Carey, Charles (2014). African-American Political Leaders. Infobase Publishing. p. 52. ISBN 9781438107806.
- See his opening statement in the video: "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-05-05. Retrieved 2017-05-21.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Retrieved 2016-12-31.
- IT, Missouri Secretary of State -. "State of Missouri - Election Night Results". enr.sos.mo.gov. Retrieved 2018-08-23.
- Congressman William Lacy Clay official U.S. House site
- Lacy Clay Jr. for Congress
- Lacy Clay at Curlie
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at the Library of Congress
|U.S. House of Representatives|
|Preceded by |
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives |
from Missouri's 1st congressional district
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
|Preceded by |
| United States Representatives by seniority |