PRIMARY ELECTION RESULTS
In a primary election night that unfolded as projected, some faces in the Capitol are set to change after the primary while others will be decided in the general election in November. With 8 seats in the Senate currently occupied by term-limited senators and 44 seats in the House by term-limited representatives, the race to replace them has been decided in part yesterday evening for some.
At the federal level, the U.S. Senate matchup will pit incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill against Republican challenger and current Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley. This will be an extraordinarily expensive and contentious race as it has been defined by many in DC on both sides of the aisle as one of, if not the most important, senate race in the country. Missourians can expect to see incessant ads and a substantial amount of money flowing into the coffers for both candidates as super PAC’s will no doubt flood the airwaves and mailboxes in support of their preferred candidate.
At the statewide level, only one office will be up for grabs this year. Current State Auditor Nicole Galloway will face off against political newcomer Saundra McDowell who beat two opponents in last night’s primary to become the Republican nominee. Although she’s never run for office, McDowell is no stranger to Jefferson City, having served as an Assistant Attorney General and most recently in the office of Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft. The Auditor is the only statewide office currently held by a Democrat, so Republicans will likely infuse significant resources into the race to flip the office to give them complete control of all executive offices and the House and Senate.
In the Missouri Senate, several competitive primaries decided who will occupy the outgoing senator’s seats. In the 14th Senate District (currently occupied by Maria Chapelle-Nadal), Brian Williams came out on top of a 3-way primary that included Reps. Joe Adams and Sharon Pace. Williams faces no opposition in November, so he becomes the Senator-Elect from the 14th. In the 16th Senate District, farmer (and son of current Sen. Dan Brown), pulled out a win against term-limited Reps. Diane Franklin and Keith Frederick. Brown’s win was crucial for Missouri’s NP’s, as Franklin and Frederick were strong opponents of measures to improve health care in Missouri by eliminating unnecessary restrictions on NP’s. In the 18th Senate District, businesswoman Cindy O’Laughlin bested three term-limited representatives (Redmon, Shumake, Walker) to become the nominee for the November general. O’Laughlin has made overtures in support of NP’s as her primary opponents were long time advocates for improving healthcare in the rural district through the solutions provided by APRN’s. Former Senate Pro Tem Ron Richard’s seat in the 32nd Senate District is up for grabs as well, with Rep. Bill White securing the win to face token opposition in the general. In the 34th Senate District currently occupied by term-limited obstructionist Sen. Rob Schaaf, attorney Tony Luetkemeyer garnered 1500 more votes in the primary to earn the right to challenge Martin Rucker (former Mizzou Football standout and son of former state representative) in the general election. Additionally, former representative and supporter of Missouri’s NP’s Eric Burlison faced no opposition in the primary to replace Sen. Jay Wasson.
In the House, although there were several competitive primaries, the general election matchups will be far more interesting. General election races to watch in the House include the 9th – Solon vs. Bergland, 17th – Ellebracht vs. Hill, 50th – Walsh vs. Skelton, and 97th – Revis vs. Coleman. With at least 44 new faces in the House and new leadership at the helm, the 2019 session will no doubt prove to be an interesting one.
In other primary election news, the big story of the night was the resounding defeat of Proposition A, also known as Right-To-Work. By a 2 to 1 margin, voters handily defeated the measure that would have ingrained the prohibition of forced unionization into law. Labor unions spent heavily on the measure and mounted an aggressive statewide campaign against pro-business groups. Amid defeat, business groups vowed to continue pursuing labor reform initiatives.
With the general election only months away, winning primary candidates and the groups that back them will begin an all out blitz to deliver their message to voters before November. Historically the party in control of the White House loses seats up and down the ballot. But with the current political climate and consistent uncertainty of the political paradigm, it’s anyone’s guess what happens between now and November. We encourage all members to stay informed and engaged and meet with candidates to inquire about their positions on issues of relevance to Missouri’s NP’s. Securing their support for our issues early on is the best way to help #MakeMONPFriendly.