The Missouri State Senate will have nine new members when it assembles for the 100th General Assembly in January.

Missouri Senate Dias

Six Republicans and one Democrat are termed out, having served the maximum two four-year stints. One Democrat running for re-election, Jake Hummel of St. Louis, was defeated in the August primary.  And one vacant seat, District 6 in mid-Missouri, will be filled.

Previous District 6 officeholder Mike Kehoe of Jefferson City was appointed lieutenant governor by Governor Mike Parson in late June.  Parson was the state’s lieutenant governor before taking over as governor June 1st when Eric Greitens resigned the post in the midst of numerous controversies.

Two of the districts that’ll see new faces are Democratic strongholds while the other seven have been held by Republicans in the GOP- dominated state Legislature.

Brian Williams is the presumptive District 14 senator, having won the Democratic primary in an election with no Republicans vying for the seat.  Williams is a former staffer for Democratic Congressman William Lacy Clay.

He defeated a current and a former state representative in the contest to replace Maria Chappelle-Nadal, who is term-limited.  Chappelle-Nadal faced controversy and numerous calls for her to resign after posting a statement on Facebook that she wished someone would assassinate President Trump.  Then Lieutenant Governor Mike Parson led an unsuccessful effort to have her removed from office.

Political newcomer Justin Brown, the son of term-limited Republican Senator Dan Brown of Rolla, will run against Democrat Ryan Dillon in the heavily GOP 16th District in south-central Missouri.  Brown defeated two state representatives, Diane Franklin of Camdenton and Keith Frederick of Rolla.

Former Republican State Representative Eric Burlison will face Democrat Jim Billedo in the Senate District 20 race in November.  Both candidates were unopposed in the primary.

Burlison served eight years as a representative from southwest Springfield, but he has since moved to Battlefield — out of the district represented by Senator Bob Dixon and into the region served by Republican Senator Jay Wasson of Nixa, who is term-limited.  Billedo has been defeated in two previous elections for a state House seat in a heavily Republican region in southwest Missouri.

Greene County Commissioner Lincoln Hough will be the Republican facing Democrat Charlie Norr to fill the seat being vacated by term-limited GOP Senator Dixon.  Dixon defeated Greene County Presiding Commissioner Bob Cirtin in the August primary.

The retiring state senator entered the county race after Cirtin became mired in controversy, having been accused of misusing taxpayer money.  Commissioner Hough was highly critical of actions taken by Cirtin, who hired a private law firm to represent the county against whistleblower complaints about the promotion by the county of a ½ cent sales tax ballot measure.  Hough and Norr were unopposed in their primary contests.

Republican State Representative Bill White of Joplin will run against Democrat Carolyn McGowan in southwest Missouri’s 32nd Senate District.  White beat Ron O’Brien in the GOP primary while McGowan ran unopposed.  Republican votes outnumbered those of Democrats in the district by a more than five-to-one margin, 27,236-5,117.

The 34th District seat being vacated by term-limited Republican Rob Schaaf will feature GOP candidate Tony Luetkemeyer versus Democrat Martin T. Rucker II.  Both Rucker II and Luetkemeyer are first-time candidates.

Luetkemeyer beat Harry Roberts, the Buchanan County Presiding Commissioner in the Republican primary.  Outgoing Senator Schaaf endorsed Roberts and accused Luetkemeyer of being involved with dark money during the primary.  Schaaf indicated Luetkemeyer was coordinating with a Political Action Committee which would be a violation of Missouri ethics law.

The committee has connections to Axiom Strategies, which lists Luetkemeyer’s campaign as a client.  The St. Joseph News-Press reported that Luetkemeyer’s campaign made payments to Axiom-related entities of $23,000 for general consulting, $3,500 for polling and another $1,000 for media training.

One of the most contentious primary races for State Senate was in northern Missouri’s 18th District.  Three Republican state representatives, Nate Walker of Kirksville, Lindell Shumake of Hannibal and Craig Redmon of Canton lost in the primary race to Shelbina businesswoman Cindy O’Laughlin.

O’Laughlin will face Democrat Crystal Stephens who was unopposed in the primary to run for the seat being vacated by term-limited Republican Brian Munzlinger of Williamstown.  Shumake says the outcome which saw three current state lawmakers lose to a businesswoman wasn’t a shock.  “I had some prior knowledge about how it was going, and I wasn’t totally surprised as to the result,” said Shumake.

Republican primary votes exceeded those of Democrats by a nearly three-to-one margin in the 18th District.

In a surprise, incumbent Democratic Senator Jake Hummel, who is also the Secretary-Treasurer of the Missouri ALF-CIO union, lost his bid for re-election in last Tuesday’s primary for the state’s 4th District.  State Representative Karla May of St. Louis won the contest and will face Republican Robert J. Crump in the general election.

The 4th District is heavily Democratic, with the party’s voters having outnumbered Republicans in the primary by a greater than eight-to-one margin, 35,341-4,731.

Missouri state senators represent an average of 176,145 residents based on the 2010 U.S. Census.

They must be at least 30 years of age, and also must be qualified Missouri voters for three years before the election and be residents of the district which they are chosen to represent for 1 year before the election.

The Missouri Legislature is one of 15 state legislatures with term limits. Voters enacted the Missouri Term Limits Act in 1992, which said that Missouri senators are subject to term limits of no more than two four-year terms, or a total of eight years.

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