Republicans emerged from the 2000 election with a slim majority in the State Senate, increased their numbers in the 2002 vote, and are looking to make more gains this year. Republicans hold 20 of the 34 seats in the Senate. Senate Leader Peter Kinder of Cape Girardeau, a Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor, is term limited out of the Senate but is keeping close tabs on the races. He expects Republicans to pick up at least one seat in November, the one held by outgoing Democrat Senator Harold Caskey of Butler. Kinder expects Republican Floor Leader Mike Gibbons of Kirkwood to succeed him as President Pro Tem of the Senate. Kinder believes Republicans must work hard to create a veto-proof majority in the Senate … something that will be important if the Democrats still control the Governor’s Office after the November elections.