In Missouri, Republicans had an extremely successful election night as they swept all the statewide races and held onto their supermajorities in both legislative chambers. Many of the statewide races in Missouri were projected to be close, however that was not the case at all as Republicans all the way down the ticket enjoyed a major voting surge anchored by Donald Trump’s presidential bid. All in all, the Democrats had no success in any of the competitive races and will only have one statewide office next year with the State Auditor Nicole Galloway. However, Galloway is currently serving out the remainder of the term of former Auditor Tom Schweich (R) who passed away two years ago. The office for Auditor will be up for re-election in 2018.
The 2017 Missouri Legislative Session is set to begin on Wednesday, January 4th and Inauguration Day has been set for Monday, January 9th in Jefferson City. The General Assembly will begin pre-filing legislation on December 1, 2016.
Roy Blunt wins re-election in close race
Roy Blunt’s re-election to the US Senate was one of the closest and most watched races in the country. Current Secretary of State Jason Kander campaigned on his military service and that Roy Blunt was a career politician that looked out for himself over the voters. The television ads flooded the state on this race and it was riddled with personal attacks. Ultimately, Blunt won the race by approximately 90,000 votes and helped secure the Republican majority in the US Senate.
Republican Eric Greitens set to be the next governor
The race for Governor in Missouri was expected to be very close and most of the capitol observers had picked current Democrat Attorney General Chris Koster to be the front runner. However, Eric Greitens, a conservative, former Navy Seal, and political outsider with no experience in elected office, handily defeated Koster. Greitens won with 51.3% of the vote to Koster’s 45.4%. The Governor-elect will be sworn into office on January 9th in Jefferson City.
Josh Hawley wins attorney general race by large margin
Republican Constitutional Conservative Josh Hawley easily defeated former Cass County Prosecutor Teresa Hensley by more than a 17-point margin. Hawley becomes the first Republican Attorney General since 1993. Just as the primary election, Hawley secured the largest total vote tally in the General Election with almost 1.6 million votes.
Republicans win all statewides – Lt. Governor, treasurer and SOS
State Senator Mike Parson (R-Bolivar) easily won his election as the next Lieutenant Governor, State Senator Eric Schmitt (R-Glendale) easily won his election as the next State Treasurer, and Jay Ashcroft (R) was elected as the next Secretary of State. Parson won his race by a 10-point margin over former US Congressman Russ Carnahan. Eric Schmitt won by more than 16-points over Democratic challenger Judy Baker. Jay Ashcroft won the Secretary of State election over challenger Robin Smith by almost 20 points.
GOP maintains supermajorities in both legislative chambers
The Missouri Senate campaigns were fairly uneventful as only two districts were competitive in the General Election. In State Senate District 1, incumbent Sen, Scott Sifton (D-St. Louis County) held off a challenge from perennial Republican candidate Dr. Randy Jotte by winning by over 5,000 vote. The most expensive and competitive State Senate race was District 19, which the district include Boone County and the University of Missouri-Columbia. The Republicans surprisingly held off a strong challenge from State Representative Stephen Webber (D-Columbia) to retain the district with State Representative Caleb Rowden winning by approximately 2,000 votes. Following the election, the Republicans will now hold a supermajority at 24-9 with one vacancy.
Unlike the Senate, the House elections did not provide for any major surprises as the Republicans were able to hold on to their supermajority with 116 Republicans and 47 Democrats. The Missouri House Republicans are caucusing today in Jefferson City to elect their leadership team and discuss governance issues such as House Rules, Committee Assignments, Staff and Office locations.
Four of the six ballot questions pass, tobacco taxes fail
Missouri voters were faced with six ballot questions, 2 of which were placed on the ballot by the legislature and four others by the initiative petition process. Below are the results
Amendment 1: YES (80%) to continue Missouri’s .1% sales tax to fund soil and water conservation. The ballot question passed easily without much discussion or campaigning.
Amendment 2: YES (69.9%) to establish limits and regulations on campaign contributions to political parties, committees, and candidates. This ballot question passed with only minimal opposition and will likely face several legal challenges in the weeks ahead due to restrictions placed within the language that defines which corporations can contribute to PACs and which cannot.
Amendment 3: NO (59.2%) to increase cigarette taxes to fund early childhood education. This ballot question was highly publicized and had major campaigns running in support and opposition.
Amendment 4: YES (57%) to prohibit new sales /use taxes on any service or transaction that was not subject to a similar tax as of January 1st, 2015. This ballot question was supported primarily by the Missouri Association of Realtors and the banking industry and came from behind in the early polls to pass.
Amendment 6: YES (63.1%) to require voters to present ID to prove identity, citizenship, and residence. This amendment was placed on the ballot from the legislature and is considered a very partisan issue. This amendment passed easily as the Republicans had a major sweep on election night.
Proposition A: NO (55.3%) to increase cigarette taxes to fund transportation and infrastructure projects. This amendment was placed on the ballot by the Missouri Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores Association in an effort to conflict with Amendment 3 and confuse the voters. This ballot question did not have any funds spent on campaigning in support or opposition and failed.
Link to Missouri secretary of state website available
If you would like to see the final results from the November 8th Missouri General Election, please go to the Missouri Secretary of State’s website at http://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/s_default.