Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Greitens GOP Guv Nominee

Eric Greitens pulled out the win in the Republican governor’s race with 34.5% of the vote, nearly ten points ahead of his nearest rival John Brunner (24.7%).  Peter Kinder finished with a little over 20% and Catherine Hanaway, a little under 20%.

Observer: Does Greitens bomb a small country in his next TV spot?

It’s a joke of course, but it does raise the question how he will remake himself for the general election, and will he learn anything about the issues or run on issues at all?

Is Chris Koster being boxed in as the candidate with experience, maturity and competence, the Hillary Clinton in Missouri against the “trust me, I can do this” Donald Trump candidate?

Next

Look for a seven-figure check from the Republican Governors Association soon to put down their claim that this will be a competitive race.  Even while the Democratic Governors Association tried to talk them out of it: “Tonight, Eric Greitens enters the general election as a deeply flawed candidate. More than 60% of Missouri Republicans voted against Greitens, even after he spent more than $7 million on TV ads in the primary.  Greitens enters the general election facing serious questions over his shady network of campaign donors…”

 

Parson Beat Randles

Sen. Mike Parson defeated newcomer Bev Randles 51% - 43%.  Rex Sinquefield had given Randles $2.5 million.  He lost every statewide race to the tune of about $11 million.  But Randles is probably the most symbolic of the impact Sinquefield makes in the electoral process.  She had no electoral experience and wouldn’t have been able to mount a campaign without his patronage.  Yet Parson prevailed despite her fundraising advantage.  Part of the issue for sure was Randles didn’t spend the money as efficiently as possible (Her campaign consultant took home $265K over the course of the campaign.), or run as strict a campaign as possible (Taking time off to go to Cleveland for the Republican convention flouted conventional wisdom that you spend as much time as possible reaching voters).

Parson now faces Russ Carnahan in the general election.  I’ll be interested to poll this and see where it starts out.

 

Hensley Upsets Zimmerman

Teresa Hensley beat Jake Zimmerman defying the political observers (Hensley was picked by only two entrants) and the polls which all showed Zimmerman will a lead, albeit not enormous and always with substantial undecideds.  Zimmerman had a lot more money and more advertisements.

 

Hawley Over Schaefer

In the end, that nasty attorney general contest wasn’t so close after all.  As the polling seemed to show at the end, Sen. Kurt Schaefer’s number collapsed.  Josh Hawley won by nearly 30 points 64%-35%.  The joke was that voters decided the terrorist was better than the Chinese businessman.  I expect that Hawley will be able to reload quickly, but I think it will be much harder for him to recast himself for the general election.  And I think Teresa Hensely, if she can get some money in the coffers could be a challenge for him in the general election.

 

Others

Sen. Will Kraus got thumped by Jay Ashcroft as expected (61%-34%) in the Republican secretary of state race; and Judy Baker beat Pat Contreras for the Dem treasurer nomination (59%-40%).

 

Congressman Lacy Clay beat back Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal’s challenge with 62% of the vote in the three-way primary.

 

State Senate Races

The two marquee races in the state senate went to those who were closer to the party base. Rep. Andrew Koenig won Senate 15 against the perceived more moderate Rick Stream (53%-47%), and Rep. Anne Zerr fell to Bill Eigel in Senate 23 (40%-39%, with Mike Carter taking the other 20%).

This result has several implications.  First, for labor issues, the Dempsey seat was a swing district that unions had hoped to keep on their side.  This will turn up the heat on the Senate 1 and Senate 19 races this fall.  If Democrats can take 19 and hold 1, that will even out the loss of Senate 23.  But Republicans will have lots of money to spend with few targets, so look for dog-fights in both places.

Second, Zerr and Stream were both individuals with a history of reaching out across the aisle.  It’s possible Eigel and Koenig can be those types of senators too, but the best guess right now is that these elections more the Senate farther down the road of partisanship and its evolution into a “mini-House.”

Finally, there’s real worry among the lobbying community about what this means for the St. Louis regions’ ability to bring any meaning economic development packages home to the region.  As one wrote me: Can you imagine Koenig trying to negotiate a deal with Jamilah [Nasheed] and city hall?

And

Meanwhile Rep. John Rizzo won in the primary in Senate 11.  He took 46.5% of the vote in that four-way.  Jessica Podhola was second with 38.2%.  With Jake Hummel becoming the new senator from the 4th District, Rep. Stephen Webber potentially winning Senate 19, and Rizzo, the Democratic Caucus could get a fresh infusion of young legs for filibusters….

 

House Races: Three Incumbents Down

Two Republican incumbents lost to primary challengers funded by David Humphreys in response to their anti-RTW positions.  In House 17 Rep. Nick King was defeated by Mary Hill (by 44 votes).  She received $75K from the Humphreys family, and $2,500 from Missouri Club for Growth.  In House 31 Dan Stacy defeated Rep. Sheila Solon (54%-45%).  Stacy likewise was funded by Humphreys ($25K) MO Club ($2.5K).  Several of other Humphreys’ challengers fell short – losing to Reps. Kevin Corlew, Bill Kidd, and Chrissy Sommer.

On the Dem side, Rep. Bonnaye Mims was soundly beaten by Freedom-backed Richard Brown.  He took 65% of the vote.

 

St. Louis City Bits

Rep. Kimberly Gardner ran strongly in her four-way race for circuit attorney winning with 46% of the vote.  Her closest competitor was Jennifer Joyce’s endorsee, Mary Pat Carl who received 23% of the vote.

 

In the City of St. Louis a few old stalwarts met defeat.  Brian Wahby lost his re-election for committeeman, as did Pat Ortmann, the wife of Alderman Ken Ortmann.

 

Teresa Hensley beat Jake Zimmerman in the city.  While Zimmerman represented St. Louis County, not the city itself, it’s a surprise that the Kansas City candidate took the urban core from him.

 

Sen. Jamilah Nasheed coasted to re-election with 79% of the vote.  But Rep. Penny Hubbard barely escaped defeat, holding off newcomer Bruce Franks by 84 votes.

 

Bits

Twitter trolling… one tweet making the rounds was from Melissa Click.  Not sure if it was legit, but she was taunting Kurt Schaefer on his loss “Karma’s a bitch.”  Still amazed she taught public relations.

And #howmoneywalks was used to poke fun at Rex Sinquefield’s incredible ability to spend money without results.  The $11 million to statewide candidates who weren’t even close.  Hanaway lost by 15 points, Randles by 8, Kraus by 27, and Schaefer by 29 points.

 

Rep. Tommie Pierson barely took second place to Carnahan in the LG Dem race.  Winston Apple got 11.9% of the vote to Pierson’s 12%. (Carnahan had 78%).

 

Jeff Harris won re-election to his judicial seat in a close race.  He prevailed with 50.6% of the vote.

 

In House 100 Mike Allen lost his bid to replace his wife Rep. Sue Allen.  The contest turned nasty including one mailer featuring Bill and Hillary Clinton comparing the Allens to the Clintons…

 

Rep. Courtney Curtis barely held off defeat, winning his four-way primary with 32% of the vote…

 

MOScout reader: Curious what MRL does in the Governor's race now. Do they continue to not endorse the proclaimed pro-life Greitens vs the proclaimed pro-choice Koster?  Does it matter if you don't fill out special interest surveys anymore?

 

MOScout Contest Winner: Callow

Richard Callow was the only person to pick all the statewide races correctly… And his tie-breaker pick of Kim Gardner winning with 41% was pretty damn good too… Congratulations Richard…

 

How’d I Do

How were my election predictions?  Not great, about average.  In the statewide, I missed gubernatorial and AG picks in the Republican primaries as well as the Democratic AG’s race.  7 out of 10.

In the states senate races, Got them all right except the Democratic primary in Senate 23 where some guy named Orr beat some guy named Upchurch. 8 out of 9.

In Dem House races, knew Mims would be a close race, but still picked her and totally blew House 28 primary.  18 out of 20.

And Republican House races were my worst category with misses all over the place.  19 out of 29.

You can see my predictions – made two weeks out – here.  All statewide races as well as state senate and state house primaries.

 

Roll Call

Roll Call reports how DC lobbyists start the process of wooing legislators even before they’re elected.  See it here.

Pull Quote: Jason Kander, the Democratic challenger in Missouri’s Senate race, can already count some K Street lobbyists among his political confidants.  That’s because lobbyists don’t wait until after Election Day to begin courting next year's freshman class. Influencers are already reaching out to prospective senators and House members, hosting fundraisers and meet-and-greets at which they can provide connections and help swell candidates' campaign coffers.  Networking with candidates like Kander who are not favored to win could be seen as a waste of time and money. But the payoff could be significant if the politician beats the odds and benefits from the early overtures. 

“They do remember folks that were supportive of them early on, so they appreciate it a great deal,” said Cristina Antelo, whose firm, the Podesta Group, held an early event with Kander. “It’s a good way to start off a friendship over time.”  The relationships don't guarantee access once the lawmaker takes office. But they have provided outlets for lobbyists to offer advice on potential staff hires or help newly settled lawmakers and aides find their way around town.

 

Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

House 135 candidate Steve Helms Reception – Touch Restaurant – Springfield – 5:30PM.

 

Lobbyists Registrations

Katherine Casas added all of Dentons’ clients; and deleted all of Gate Way Group’s clients.

Mary Mulhearn deleted Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

 

$5K+ Contributions

Koster for Missouri - $5,500 from Virginia McDowell.

Koster for Missouri - $15,000 from Connie Burkhardt.

MBA River Heritage Region PAC - $5,749 from Southern Bank.

Hanaway for Governor Inc - $10,000 from Menlo Smith.

Citizens to Elect Kurt Schaefer Attorney General - $5,001 from Missouri Cattlemen’s Association.

Leadership for America - $332,756 from Missourians for Tim Jones.

Missourians for John Brunner - $29,412 from M J Enterprises LLC.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Bev Randles, Dan Engemann, and former Rep. Larry Wilson.