First, the big picture stuff, then I’ll run through the smaller bites of information…
The Big Picture
Republicans took yet another statewide office as Josh Hawley defeat Claire McCaskill. Hawley’s path was the classic Missouri Republican electoral math: huge margins in out-state Missourah more than offsetting the urban Democratic strongholds. Suburbs are still battlegrounds depending on the particular pocket you’re looking at. Hawley’s margin 51% to 45% was solid.
Democrat Auditor Nicole Galloway beat Saundra McDowell who ran a campaign with nothing but bad news. Galloway won 50%-44%, and is now the last woman standing for the Dem statewide office-holders. It wasn’t long ago – Election Day morning 2016 – that Dems controlled the governor’s mansion, the attorney general, the secretary of state, the treasurer, the auditor, and one US Senate seat.
In the state legislative seats, Republicans held the status quo in both the Senate and House. They successfully defended their incumbents in the Senate. And in the House they amazingly won three seats to net out three that were lost to Dems.
All in all, it was a demoralizing night for Democrats as their once purple state seems to have reddened beyond their recognition.
On the ballot questions, CLEAN Missouri passed strongly (61%), as did the minimum wage raise (62%). Amendment 2 version of medical marijuana scored the strongest of all IPs (65%) while the two other MMJ proposals failed.
And Prop D, the gas tax, fell short with 46%.
And now the bits…
How Hawley Won
One Republican’s message to me…
Read the longer version here, from the KC Star.
New Legislator Contact Information
I created a spreadsheet with contact information for the new state legislators. Find (and download) it here. One caveat, I compile this from public sources (the web), not my phone or emails. That means: it may not be 100% accurate, but you should feel free to use it. You’re not invading their privacy, this is information they have put out there in some fashion.
Jefferson County = All Red
Senate 22 wasn’t close in the end. Incumbent Sen. Paul Wieland romped to a twenty-point win over Democrat Robert Butler (58% to 38%). But that race was just one of many data points showing Republicans have fired up their hold on the once-battleground Jefferson County.
Josh Hawley beat Claire McCaskill in JeffCo 54% to 42%. Dennis Gannon easily defeated Jeff Roorda for Jefferson County Executive 58% to 42%. And Republicans re-took House 97 from Democrats as well as House 118 where Ben Harris is term-limited.
The Dems high-water mark in JeffCo for the foreseeable future will have been Jason Kander’s 44% in 2016….
What Now For Roads?
The defeat of Prop D (46.3% in favor) dealt a major blow to Governor Mike Parson’s agenda for infrastructure. The despair from last night was augmented by cresting great optimism near the campaign (MOScout’s weekend before poll had it passing with 55%). There was the sense that the stars had finally aligned to bust through Missouri’s anti-tax sentiment on this issue. The governor and lieutenant governor worked their tails off stumping all across the state; the campaign hired a first-rate team, and raised millions of dollars; and most importantly, there was no counter campaign. This was the shot to make it happen. And still, it failed.
What’s next? Probably nothing for a bit. But it’s a critical part of Parson’s economic agenda so I don’t think he’ll simply throw his hands up. When the problem-solvers start talking about roads again, here’s what we may hear.
· Earmarking new tax revenues to fund MODoT. Taxing internet sales, for example, is likely to debated this session. If it were adopted, it could be earmarked for infrastructure. This may get some resistance from folks hoping to use the dollars for Parson’s other agenda item: workforce development, aka education.
· Looking at provisions from Speaker Elijah Haahr’s tax reform proposal that included hikes on certain license fees. While some good money in Haahr’s ideas, it’s not the same scale as a gas tax brought in. Is it enough to move the needle?
· But a gas tax, as a policy proposal, is dead for a while.
Kicks into high gear today… We’ll see if the buzz continues around Treasurer Eric Schmitt to take over Josh Hawley’s post. Last night I heard yet another new name in the domino game: Brenda Talent as a possible state treasurer…
What Bradshaw Spent
According to a quick review of large contributions on the Missouri Ethics Commission website, attorney Brad Bradshaw spent over $2.3 million on his Find the Cures campaign for medical marijuana. It tallied 31% of the vote last night, losing to New Approach’s Amendment 2.
Another IP maverick, Fred Sauer, spent $100K supporting the Republican St. Louis County Executive candidate Paul Berry III. Berry scored 37% against incumbent Steve Stenger last night.
Scanning through the county-by-county returns, there were several places which voted No on all the ballot proposals – from CLEAN to MMJ to Bingo for goodness sakes.
Here are the ones I spied with the percentages that Hawley won in that county:
eMailbag: Brains Behind MSCC
I don’t think people know how involved Kit Crancer still is as one of the most trusted political advisors and strategists in the state. Tonight speaks volumes to Kit’s talent as the head of MO Senate Campaign Committee with a clean sweep in all state senate races.
eMailbag: Dems Lament
Good thing House Dems have been scurrying about lately to figure out leadership races…
The Talk: Really SOS?
The secretary of state office’s decision to delay posting any election returns until every single person in line anywhere in the state had voted was panned by salivating politicos clicking refresh.
MOScout Pundit Pool Winner
Lobbyist Brian Grace was the only person to correctly pick the winners of the seven contest races: Senate 34, House 10, House 14, House 65, House 70, House 97, and House 135.
MOScout predictions were about on par with previous years: 129 out of 134 contested races.
And While You Were Poll Watching Yesterday…
Former state senators Ryan Silvey and John Lamping sparred on Twitter. See it here.
About a year ago I wrote about an odd phenomenon occurring with former Speaker Tim Jones’ PAC, Leadership for America: despite spending money and no new fundraising, the PAC’s cash on-hand remained level, even grew.
The mystery was solved when a closer examination of his reports revealed an investment in LRT Global Opportunity LP. The fund is run by Lukasz Tomicki.
Tomicki lives in Austin, recently he was in St. Louis and I managed to spend some time hearing his story. He’s a fascinating fellow. His childhood bounced around Europe with a spattering of entrepreneurial enterprises before college in New Jersey, starting and selling a technology company, and getting an MBA at Washington University.
Tomicki will hold a webinar outlining his current views on the markets and giving an introduction to his firm on November 9 at 3PM, and November 12 at 10AM. Anyone interested can sign up for the webinar at: http://eepurl.com/dMj2Ak
Property Casualty Insurers Association of America Political Account - $5,259 from Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.
Team Mike PAC - $8,750 from Missouri Senate Campaign Committee.
SaferMO.Com – $10,000 from Citizens for Jay Wasson.
SaferMO.Com – $25,000 from Drury Development.
SaferMO.Com – $25,000 from St. Louis Auto Dealers Association.
SaferMO.Com – $50,000 from Western Missouri and Kansas Laborers’ District Council PAC.
NRA Political Victory Fund - $36,500 from NRA Political Victory Fund.
Clay County Democratic Central Committee - $5,200 from Friends of Ellebracht.
Clay County Democratic Central Committee - $10,200 from Friends of Ellebracht.
International Union of Painters & Allied Trades PAT Federal PAC - $25,000 from International Union of Painters & Allied Trades PAT Federal PAC.
International Union of Painters & Allied Trades PAT Federal PAC - $11,905 from International Union of Painters & Allied Trades PAT Federal PAC.
SaferMO.Com - $25,000 from Heavy Constructors Association.
Freedom Incorporated - $30,000 from Missourians First.
House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $25,000 from Friends of Diehl.
Citizens for Paul Woody - $15,000 from Paul Woody.
Happy birthdays to Congressman Sam Graves, Sen. David Sater, former Rep. Doug Ervin, and Charter’s Jarad Falk.