Democrats from around the state gather in Hannibal for Missouri Democrat Days – the unofficial kick-off of the 2006 election campaign season. A great deal of the attention was on the woman challenging Jim Talent in the U.S. Senate race. Claire McCaskill is taking stands on a number of important issues expected to be major concerns during this campaign: She supports different forms of stem cell research, believes renewal of the USA Patriot Act is the right thing to do, and does not want ownership of some U.S. ports turned over to a company owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates. McCaskill dismisses suggestions she would be a mouthpiece for liberal Democrats in party leadership, saying she would stand up to the likes of Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, Senator Ted Kennedy, and Senator Hillary Clinton. McCaskill says her controversial decision to challenge incumbent Democratic Governor Bob Holden in 2004 proves no one tells her what to say or do.

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McCaskill for Missouri