Across the metro, there are several highly contested races for the Missouri Legislature. Below is our first preview article on races south of the river. An additional article will be posted for races in the Northland.
8th District State Senate Race – Lee’s Summit/Blue Springs/Independence
Mike Cierpiot (R), who won the special election for the open seat for the State Senate in District 8 (Eastern Jackson County), last November, is running again for a full four-year term. Cierpiot’s unusual candidacy in back-to-back years is due to the resignation of former Senator Will Kraus (R) last year to accept an appointment as a Commissioner on the Missouri State Tax Commission in 2017.
Kraus was nearing his final, and 8th, year in the Senate due to term limits. Cierpiot, who was the Majority Floor Leader in the Missouri House of Representatives, left that post to fill the open seat in the Senate. Hillary Shields (D), who challenged Cierpiot in the special election last November 7, is running unopposed in the Democratic primary to challenge Cierpiot again this November 6.
Cierpiot is endorsed by the Missouri Right to Life Political Action Committee and the National Rifle Association. Shields is endorsed by the National Abortion Right Action League. The race will pit a staunch conservative in Cierpiot against an outspoken and liberal in Shields.
Cierpiot must first get past a contested and controversial primary for the Republican nomination. Longtime liberal Democrat, Leonard Jonas Hughes IV, who served four terms in the Missouri House as a Democrat from 2005 to 2011 represented an urban district in Kansas City. Hughes filed as a Republican to run against Cierpiot in the August 7 primary.
Republican Party officials sought to have Hughes removed from the ballot and cried foul, calling the Hughes filing a dirty political trick by Democrats. In an investigative story published by Linda Ahern, owner of the Lee’s Summit Tribune, published on July 28, questions were raised how Hughes has remained on the ballot when he reportedly owes over $30,000 in fines to the Missouri Ethics Commission for multiple campaign finance violations incurred between 2008 and 2011. lstribune.net/index.php/2018/07/28/questions-remain-whether-missour-senate-candidate-should-remain-on-ballot/
Open Seat District 30 – Lee’s Summit/Independence
In District 30 (Lee’s Summit/Independence), three Republican candidates are seeking to replace Mike Cierpiot, who vacated his seat in the Missouri House of Representatives to move to the 8th District Senate seat following his special election victory last November 7th.
Jon Patterson of Lee’s Summit, a medical doctor, will square off against James L. Lowman, an Independence, MO resident and Chris Hankins of Lee’s Summit. Ryana Parks Shaw of Lee’s Summit is unopposed on the Democratic ballot as is Brad Eichstadt of Independence on the Libertarian ballot.
Patterson has garnered the exclusive endorsement of the Missouri Right to Life PAC in the District 30 race. Both Lowman and Patterson earned AQ ratings from the Missouri NRA (National Rifle Association), the highest rating possible for a non-incumbent candidate.
District 32 Open Seat – Blue Springs/Grain Valley
Jeff Coleman, a Grain Valley businessman, Alderman and school board member is the lone Republican seeking to fill the District 32 open seat being vacated by term limited, Jeanie Lauer, who will move on to the Jackson County Legislature in a race for which she is unopposed. Coleman will face Democrat Janice Brill of Grain Valley, who is unopposed in the Democratic primary.
District 35 Open Seat – Lee’s Summit/Kansas City/Raytown
Gary Cross, who is term limited, will be replaced by one of three candidates. Keri Ingle is the lone Democratic primary candidate. She will face either Tom Lovell or Sean Smith, who are in a highly contested Republican primary.
Smith is a Lee’s Summit businessman who describes himself as a bold conservative, not a bureaucrat. He is exclusively endorsed by the Missouri Right to Life PAC and is the only AQ rated candidate by the Missouri NRA. Lovell is promoting his 38 years experience in city government as the Director of the Lee’s Summit Parks and Recreation department.
District 55 Open Seat – Cass County/Harrisonville/Raymore
Rick Brattin (R), a State Representative from Harrisonville, is term limited and running for Cass County Auditor. With no Democrats or other party candidates filed for Brattin’s open seat, one of three Republican candidates.
Mike Vinck of Raymore is at the top of the Republican primary ballot and is supported by Cass County State Representative Jack Bondon (R). Mike Haffner of Pleasant Hill is supported by outgoing Representative Rick Brattin. The three-man field is rounded out by Bing Schimmelpfenning, who might have the name of this 2018 race.
The National Rifle Association has given both Vinck and Haffner AQ ratings and Schimmelpfenning received a B+ grade from the NRA.
Metro Voice is still working on info for State House races in the Northland.
The only statewide statutory petition initiative on the August ballot is Proposition A, known as Right to Work. You can read about Prop A by clicking on our story HERE.
The Referendum ordered by Petition to be on the Ballot states:
“Do the people of the state of Missouri want to adopt Senate Bill 19 (“Right to Work”) as passed by the General Assembly in 2017, which prohibits as a condition of employment the forced membership in a labor organization (union) or forced payments of dues in full or pro-rata (fair-share); make any activity which violate employees’ rights illegal and ineffective; allow legal remedies for anyone injured as a result of another person violating or threatening to violate employees rights; and which shall not apply to union agreements entered into before the effective date of Senate Bill 19?”
A yes vote would uphold the action taken by the General Assembly in 2017, making Missouri a Right to Work state. A no vote would nullify the action of the legislature in passing Right to Work, which was signed into law last year by former Governor Eric Greitens.
–By Metro Voice