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Politics, Elections and Government

Republicans Claim Big Victories over Democratic Challengers In Missouri Statewide Offices

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Carlos Moreno/KCUR 89.3
Voters at Heartland Community Church of Christ socially distance while waiting their turn to vote Tuesday in Platte County.

Republican incumbents had a good night, keeping statewide offices. But in a surprise, Amendment 3, which would change the Clean Missouri redistricting plan, was winning.

The Missouri GOP maintained its overwhelming dominance in the state Tuesday night, as Republicans easily won election to the attorney general, secretary of state and treasurer posts.

Missouri’s incumbent members of Congress from the Kansas City area also defeated their opponents by wide margins in unofficial final returns.

The biggest surprise of the night was that voters approved Amendment 3, which would change the Clean Missouri redistricting process that voters had just approved in 2018. With all precincts reporting, in unofficial results, Amendment 3 passed 51 percent to 49 percent, even though Amendment 3 opponents had spent heavily to try to defeat it.

Here’s a summary of key Missouri Election results:

Missouri Statewide Offices

Attorney General

Incumbent Republican Eric Schmitt, who was appointed and took office in 2019 to replace Josh Hawley, won his race, defeating Democratic challenger Rich Finneran. Schmitt had 59 percent to 38 percent for Finneran. Libertarian Kevin Babcock had 3 percent.

Secretary of State

Incumbent Republican Jay Ashcroft won a second term, defeating Democratic challenger Yinka Faleti, 61 percent to 36 percent. Faleti, a lawyer and West Point graduate who most recently led a nonprofit called Forward Through Ferguson, had hoped to be the first African-American man elected to statewide office in Missouri.

Libertarian Carl Herman Freese had 2 percent and Green Party candidate Paul Lehmann and Constitution Party candidate Paul Venable each had less than 1 percent.

Treasurer

Republican incumbent Scott Fitzpatrick defeated Democrat Vicki Lorenz Englund, 59 percent to 38 percent. Fitzpatrick was appointed and took office in 2019 after Schmitt was appointed Attorney General. Englund served two terms in the Missouri House of Representatives.

Libertarian Nicholas Kasoff had 2 percent and Green Party candidate Joseph Civettini had less than 1 percent.

Missouri Statewide Ballot Issues

Amendment 3, Redistricting

This amendment overturns the 2018 Clean Missouri vote, which affected redistricting and ethics rules in the state Legislature. Amendment 3 passed 51 percent to 49 percent in final unofficial returns.

Clean Missouri had passed with 62% of the vote in 2018 and changed the statewide redistricting approach to make districts more competitive. Supporters of Amendment 3 argued that Clean Missouri wasn’t about fairness but about helping Democrats.

Clean Missouri proponents, who had heavily outspent the Amendment 3 supporters, said voters knew what they were doing in 2018 and wanted districts that were more competitive between Republicans and Democrats rather than locking in incumbents.

Amendment 1, Term Limits

Missouri voters rejected a constitutional amendment that would have limited the lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state and state auditor to two terms in office. In unofficial returns, they opposed Amendment 1 with 52 percent of voters against and 48 percent in favor.

Missouri voters in the past have generally supported term limits. They approved the two-term limit for governor in 1965 and agreed to apply term limits to state legislators in 1992.

Kansas City-area Congressional races

The three U.S. representatives from the Kansas City region all coasted to re-election against little-known challengers:

4th District GOP Rep. Vicky Hartzler won a sixth term against Democrat Lindsey Simmons, 68 percent to 30 percent. The 4th District comprises a large swath of the west-central Missouri, including the eastern and southern Kansas City suburbs.

5th District U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, a Democrat, won a ninth term in office, defeating Republican Ryan Derks, 59 percent to 39 percent. The district comprises Kansas City south of the Missouri River and stretches east to Marshall.

6th District GOP Rep. Sam Graves won an 11th term in office against Democrat Gena Ross, 67 percent to 31 percent. The 6th Congressional district covers the Kansas City area north of the Missouri River and much of northern Missouri.

Missouri House

Here are results from key House races from the Kansas City area:

House District 13, representing southern Platte County

Republican Sean Pouche defeated Democrat Vic Abundis to the seat previously held by Republican Vic Allred. Pouche got 56 percent of the vote to 44 percent for Abundis.

Allred, a restaurateur whose businesses have struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic, dropped out after the August primary

Pouche is the son of longtime Platte County politician Fred Pouche. He works in the family business, Platte Rental and Supply, and served in Iraq with the U.S. Navy Reserves. Abundis is a longtime Park Hill School District teacher.

House District 14, representing parts of Clay and Platte counties

Democrat Ashley Aune defeated Republican Eric Holmes, 54 percent to 46 percent.

Aune, who owns and operates a marketing agency, succeeds Democrat Matt Sain, who chose not to run for re-election.

House District 15, representing Gladstone and part of Kansas City, North

Democrat Maggie Nurrenbern won this race to succeed incumbent Jon Carpenter, a Democrat, who was term-limited out of office. Nurrenbern is a Spanish teacher at North Kansas City High School.

She defeated Republican Steve West 58 percent to 42 percent.

The District 15 race captured some national attention because West, has been denounced by his own children and by the Missouri Republican Party for bigoted and anti-Semitic remarks he has made on a radio talk show and website.

House District 16, representing parts of Clay County, Liberty and Kansas City North

The incumbent, Republican Noel Shull, was term-limited out. Republican Chris Brown defeated Democrat James Shackelford, 57 percent to 43 percent.

House District 24, representing part of Kansas City and Jackson County

Democrat Emily Weber defeated Libertarian Andrew Miller, 89 percent to 11 percent. Weber has a career in communication, marketing and graphic design and is believed to be the first Asian-American woman elected to the Missouri Legislature.

House District 31, representing parts of Jackson County including Blue Springs

This is a competitive district and the winning Republican and Democratic candidates had similar vote counts in the August primary.

Incumbent Republican Dan Stacy defeated Democratic challenger Rhonda Dolan, 54 percent to 46 percent, in unofficial returns Tuesday. Stacy was first elected in 2016, when he defeated then-incumbent Rep. Sheila Solon.

House District 34, representing much of Lee’s Summit and Greenwood

Republican Rick Roeber narrowly defeated Democrat Chris Hager, 51 percent to 49 percent, despite having some Republicans call for him to drop out of the race.

This seat had been vacant since July 2019, when then-Representative Rebecca Roeber died, several months after she was badly injured in a car wreck.

Rick Roeber, Rebecca’s husband, is a pastor who has been known as “Barefoot Rick,” for his barefoot running ministry.

But The Kansas City Star published an expose in which several of Roeber’s adult children from a previous marriage accused him of abuse years ago. Roeber strenuously denied those allegations. But some Republicans called for Roeber to drop out of the race.

Lynn Horsley is a freelance journalist in Kansas City. Follow her on Twitter @LynnHorsley.

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