Missouri is without a Democratic candidate for a statewide office for the first time since 1870 when the Civil War-weakened Missouri Democratic Party fielded no statewide candidates and instead supported Liberal Republicans in their campaigns against Radical Republicans who had taken control after the war.
This year appears to be the first election since then that Democrats will let a Republican statewide office holder go without a significant challenger. No Democrat will run against state Auditor Tom Schweich. Party Chairman Roy Temple says Democrats could not find a strong enough candidate.
But he says the failure has no political significance. He recalls Auditor Margaret Kelly’s crushing defeat of Connie Hendren and notes Democrats took all of the statewide offices two years later.
Temple says the lack of an Auditor candidate allows the party to put more resources into regaining strength in the House and the Senate. He’s not saying “regain control.” But he does hope Democrats can gain enough seats to end the Republican super majority in both chambers.
Two third-party candidates did file: Sean O’Toole of Kansas City as the Libertarian candidate and Rodney Farthing of Salem as the candidate of the Constitution Party.