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Missouri primary election results not without surprises

Missourians may be thankful that the primary election is over, if only for the fact that the political TV ads may decrease. While that’s not a shocker, voters handed some surprises in Tuesday’s elections.

The biggest statewide upset in Tuesday’s election goes to Right-to-work supporters. For the first time since 1978, Missouri voters have rejected a ballot referendum known as Proposition A, which would have banned mandatory union membership or fees in the workplace. Missouri will not become a Right-to-work state, unless the legislature revisits the issue. Right—to-work is a major priority for many Republicans in the Missouri Legislature as the state falls behind others in the Midwest who have the law, which are outperforming Missouri economically. Unions and others spent $16 million in advertising to defeat the issue with little advertising in its defense.

Saundra McDowell has taken the Republican nomination for the Missouri State Auditor’s race. She finished the race with 33% of the vote to David Wasinger’s 27%, followed by State Rep. Paul Curtman’s 16%. McDowell faces Missouri Democrat State Auditor Nicole Galloway, along with the Libertarian, Green Party and Constitution Party candidates in November.

Republican Josh Hawley easily won the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate.  Hawley again challenged Senator Claire McCaskill to a debate. She has come under criticism from him, and many of her constituents, for not responding to previous requests to debate.  Tuesday night, he doubled down on his demand, proclaiming that the debates be held on the back of a flatbed truck.

“I’m going to drag that flatbed truck all over this state to courthouses everywhere,” said Hawley.  “We’ll get out.  We’ll get on the back of a truck and we’ll debate, just me, just her, no holds barred.  That’s my challenge.”

Incumbent Democrat Senator Claire McCaskill won her primary with heavy support from the urban areas of St. Louis and Kansas City. Her support remains weaker across the state’s suburban and rural areas where her percentage of victory was lower.

Although she was not thought to be in jeopardy of losing the party nomination, she’s been continually referred to in the national press as one of the most, if not the most, vulnerable Democrats trying to hold onto a Senate seat in this year’s election.

Vicky Hartzler easily won her primary for U.S. Congress representing Missouri’s Fourth District which takes in the southern parts of the Kansas City metro and areas south. The popular congresswoman has said she is not taking her constitutents for granted and regularly returns to the state to meet with voters across her district.

In Missouri’s 5th Congressional district Jacob Turk handily won the primary and will again face embattled Emanuel Cleaver. Cleaver continues to run under a cloud of ethics issues concerning ownership of a car wash in which he defaulted on a Federal Small Business Administration loan which has still never paid it back. His contradictory statements over the years and what many see as dealing in racial politics continues to erode his support in the suburban areas of his district as well as rural areas that stretch east across the state.

Turk holds the record for, not only the most runs against Cleaver over the years, but also having coming closest to unseating the Congressman. He has lost his challenge by as little as 10,000 votes in the past and hopes in the booming economy, he can come up with the votes to be successful this year.

–By Dwight Widaman and wire info