Hot, hot weather ended a hot primary election season today as Missourians went to the polls to decide who will run against whom in the General Election in November and whether Missouri opposes federal health care reform.
The key race is for the United States Senate. Democrats are expected to overwhelmingly nominate Secretary of State Robin Carnahan to run in November for the seat now held by Republican Senator Bond, who is retiring. Republicans are expected to nominate long-time southwest Missouri Congressman Roy Blunt. A long-shot upset bid by Republican State Senator Chuck Purgason of Caulfield is expected to fall short, but it will be interesting to see how much support Purgason does receive in the Republican primary.
The Republican primary for state Auditor features State Representative Allen Icet of Wildwood against political newcomer Tom Schweich of St. Louis. Whoever wins will challenge the re-election of Democratic incumbent Susan Montee.
Proposition C, called by supporters the Health Care Freedom Act, might well attract national attention. It would prohibit the federal government from forcing Missourians to buy health insurance under the new federal health care law. Passage could set up an immediate legal challenge. Supporters believe they have a chance to win in court, but also are viewing a win in the arena of public opinion. It is largely seen as a referendum on the new health care law.
Republicans are mounting strong challenges to two incumbent Democrats in Congress. Republican Ed Martin, who served as Gov. Blunt’s Chief of Staff, is challenging the re-election of Russ Carnahan in the St. Louis area. Two Republicans, former State Representative Vicky Hartzler of Harrisonville and State Senator Bill Stouffer of Napton, are bidding to challenge the re-election of Missouri’s senior Congressman, Democrat Ike Skelton of Lexington.
Several other races will be decided tonight. Half the seats in the state Senate are up for election this November. Two Republicans are running unchallenged. Two seats will be decided in the Democratic primary, one in the Republican primary. Two Republicans face only 3rd Party opposition in November with one Democrat facing a 3rd Party opponent.
In the House, 42 candidates run unopposed this year; 23 Republicans and 19 Democrats. The Primary election will decide 22 races; 14 Republican and eight Democratic. Six races feature only 3rd Party opposition; 5 Republican and one Democratic.
Republicans control both chambers of the General Assembly.