Democrat Claire McCaskill and Republican Josh Hawley Win Respective Primaries
Senator McCaskill won the Democratic field with just over 500,000 votes against six opponents, while Republican Hawley secured over 389,000 votes in a field of 10 opponents. For months, nearly every news outlet has identified McCaskill’s race among the closest Senate races in the country. McCaskill is defending the position she’s held since 2006 to balance Missouri’s Senate representation. To do so, McCaskill must court rural “Trump” voters while maintaining the support of her urban base – a delicate balance in a state that Trump won by almost 20 points.
Fellow Democrats concede the difficulty of McCaskill’s position. Yet, Representative Emanuel Cleaver, another seasoned Missouri Democrat, stated it’s not impossible for McCaskill to pull it out. ‘“Missouri is an interesting place; it’s really a place where you have to show me,” Cleaver said, … It’s the state motto, but politics is real. I think people want to see her.”’
Cleaver believes McCaskill’s problem among African-American communities is easily fixable. Both he and other Democratic Party operatives say this seeming shift in voter loyalty isn’t necessarily Missouri Democratic voters moving more to the left. Instead, Missouri’s Democrats are part of a national trend of highly energized and revitalized activists than has been seen in many years.
On the Republican side, Hawley’s campaign was hampered by the scandals of the Greitens administration and some controversial remarks he made about women. However, with Greitens’ resignation, Hawley is free to focus on beating McCaskill and securing a second Republican seat in the US Senate.
For this tightly contentious race, the Missouri Republican Party has put forth a young, conservative attorney general to take on the seasoned McCaskill. A graduate of Stanford and Yale Law School, Hawley has criticized “political elites” in the vein of President Trump, who has visited Missouri and stumped for Hawley several times in the past year.
Both sides are spending large sums on aggressive campaign advertisements and challenging one another to debates. Stay tuned, it promises to be a nail-biter.
Republican House District 15 Winner Touts Racist, Fringe Policies
Steve West, also known as “Jack Justice,” won a 4-way primary race for the Republican House seat in Clay County’s District 15, beating his closest competitor by 25 votes. District 15 is comprised of Gladstone and parts of Kansas City, North. West faces incumbent Democrat Dan Carpenter.
West hosts a radio show on KCXL out of Liberty, Missouri, during which he has espoused anti-Jewish and anti-Islamic views. West’s top six platform issues as listed on his website:
· Pornography ("should be strictly regulated")
· Sodium fluoride ("a poison that should be outlawed from our water supply")
· Casino Gambling & Puplic [sic] Assistance ("recipients of public assistance should be banned from casinos")
On Thursday, the Missouri Republican Party “wholeheartedly condemn[ed]” West’s comments and rhetoric.
Lawsuit Seeks to Remove CLEAN Missouri Question from November Ballot
The CLEAN Missouri ballot initiative is facing a court challenge. Kansas City attorney Eddie Greim is trying to knock a question off the November ballot designed to end partisan gerrymandering.
The lawsuit claims the proposed referendum violates a provision in the Missouri Constitution that prevents multiple subjects from being combined into one ballot proposal.
“One purpose of the prohibition on multiple subjects in a single ballot proposal is to prevent ‘logrolling,’ a practice familiar to legislative bodies whereby unrelated subjects that individually might not muster enough support to pass are combined to generate the necessary support,” the lawsuit says.
The referendum asks whether voters want to tighten campaign contribution limits, ban lobbyist gifts, institute a two-year “cooling off” period for lawmakers-turned-lobbyists, start a new redistricting system in 2020 and require lawmakers to adhere to the Sunshine Law.