Missouri Dems Outraise Republican Rivals
October 16, 2012

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Most of the Democratic candidates for Missouri executive offices held a substantial cash advantage over their Republican opponents as they entered the final month before the November elections, according to reports released Monday.
Quarterly financial figures show Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon had more than $4.9 million in his campaign account at the start of October, compared with $1.5 million for his Republican challenger, St. Louis businessman Dave Spence. Democrats also had large financial advantages in every other statewide race except for lieutenant governor.
The October finance reports typically are important because they show how much cash a candidate has remaining for ads and other campaign activities in the final weeks before Election Day.
In the case of the governor’s race, Nixon’s hefty bank account means he should have plenty of resources to continue broadcasting his message as he seeks to convert his lead in the public opinion polls into a second term. But Nixon’s greater than 3-to-1 cash advantage is not necessarily insurmountable for Spence, who could tap into his personal wealth. Spence previously loaned and gave his campaign a total of $4 million, but he has not put more of his own money into the race since shortly after winning the August Republican primary.
A competitive primary drained the campaign account of Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder. But Monday’s reports show Kinder had essentially pulled even financially with his Democratic challenger, former State Auditor Susan Montee, in a race that so far has received little public attention. Heading into October, Montee reported about $270,000 in her campaign account and Kinder nearly $268,000.
Democratic State Treasurer Clint Zweifel held a large financial advantage over his Republican challenger, state Rep. Cole McNary. Although the candidates raised similar amounts of money during the quarterly reporting period, Zweifel started with a substantially larger base and had nearly $1.3 remaining in his campaign account at the beginning of October, compared with $161,000 for McNary
Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster reporting raising and spending – and still having – substantially more money than his Republican challenger, Ed Martin. Koster’s campaign reported more than $2.5 million on hand at the start of October, compared with a little less than $525,000 for Martin.
There is no incumbent in Missouri’s secretary of state’s race, because Democratic Robin Carnahan is not seeking a third term. But the Democratic candidate, state Rep. Jason Kander, reported far more money in his campaign account than the Republican candidate, state Rep. Shane Schoeller, who had to spend a considerable amount to win a GOP primary.
The finance reports show that Kander had almost $1.1 million in his account at the start of October, compared a little over $297,000 for Schoeller.

Missouri Dems Buckle Up at Convo For Fall Campaigns, Sanders Says McCaskill Race Will Determine Control of Senate
June 10, 2012

(Claire McCaskill campaigning for first term)
(AP)–Missouri Democrats united behind President Barack Obama at their state convention Saturday, expressing both concern and confidence about his ability to withstand a challenge from Republican Mitt Romney in a contest that could hinge on perceptions of the economy.
A smaller, less rambunctious group gathered at the Lake of the Ozarks this year, lending itself to a more relaxed, efficient convention compared with four years ago, when Obama was battling with Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination. This year, Democrats were unified in their support for a trio of top-of-the-ticket incumbents for president, U.S. senator and governor.
Obama narrowly lost Missouri in 2008 to Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona. And so far in 2012, the president has not mounted a much of a push in the state — Obama is running TV ads in nine key states, and Missouri is not one of them.
Yet Democrats contend that Missouri’s historical swing-state status will be as strong as ever — partly because Sen. Claire McCaskill’s re-election bid is expected to be one of the tightest races nationally as Republicans seek to gain control of the Senate.
“We are the bellwether of bellwethers; we are going to decide which way the U.S. Senate goes,” Democratic Party Chairman Mike Sanders told delegates Saturday.
McCaskill did not attend the convention, staying in St. Louis with her ailing mother after campaigning at an earlier union event.
“Pray for her and fight for me,” McCaskill said in a video shown at the convention.
Several other elected Democratic officials also were absent, for a variety of reasons.
The convention drew 434 delegates, less than half the 1,036 that could have come. But the atmosphere was less tense than in 2008, with its division between Clinton and Obama supporters.
Retired schoolteacher Dora Meier of Licking, who backed Obama at the 2008 state convention, said this year’s party gathering lacked the same level of enthusiasm — though she gladly exchanged it for the greater unity. Meier acknowledged she is “kind of scared” about Obama’s prospects against Romney because of the jobless rate.
“He hasn’t accomplished all the things he promised,” Meier, 72, said of Obama. “I think people are expecting miracles. I think we need to give him more time.”
Gov. Jay Nixon, who won easily in 2008, didn’t mention the president during his speech Saturday. But Nixon echoed Obama’s new campaign slogan — “Forward” — as he touted several recent months of improving job figures in a state whose economy had remained stagnant last year.
“We’re moving forward, but we can’t stop now,” Nixon said while urging Democrats to help him win re-election.

Randles Gets State Lawmaker Support for Grassroots Governor’s Campaign
March 2, 2012

Prime Buzz:
GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill Randles of KC announced six endorsements from members of the Missouri House and Senate today.
“I’m deeply honored to receive endorsements from these outstanding conservative legislators who hail from all across the state of Missouri,” Randles said.
Those endorsing Randles were: Sen. Brian Nieves, Rep. Ward Franz, Rep. Paul Curtman, Rep. Bill White, Rep. Barney Fisher, and Rep. Melissa Leach.
Randles is facing Dave Spence for the GOP nomination for Governor. The winner of the August primary is expected to take on Democratic incumbent Jay Nixon.

Star Profiles Missouri Tea Party Freshman Vicky Hartzler
February 11, 2012

David Goldstein has a long profile on Mo-4 freshman republican Vicky hartzler as she gears up for er re-election bid in the fall:
Leaving a House Republican caucus meeting one morning, Rep. Vicky Hartzler had to pause a moment to get her bearings.
She was on her way to an Armed Services Committee hearing, but navigating the maze of corridors beneath the Capitol could still puzzle her.
Hartzler’s political compass, however, always stays on course. She’s true to the fed-up-with-Washington tea party movement, which helped elect her and many others among the 87 House freshmen in 2010. Her experience mirrors theirs —and frames the stakes facing the now widely unpopular House Republican caucus as its members seek re-election this November.
Hartzler arrived 13 months ago from Missouri’s 4th Congressional District as a giant killer. She had toppled one of the chamber’s most senior Democrats, former Rep. Ike Skelton, the powerful chairman of the Armed Services Committee and a veteran of more than three decades on Capitol Hill.
The 51-year-old farmer, former high school home economics teacher and state legislator embraced tea party anger and social conservative causes. Her votes reflected the grassroots movement’s mission: cut spending and taxes, reduce the deficit and repeal the 2010 health care law.
And most importantly: Don’t back down.
“We are a voice of a large portion of America right now, and we were sent here to stop spending money we don’t have, get us back to a balanced budget, adhere to the Constitution and defend individual freedoms and liberties,” Hartzler said in a recent interview.
Now she’s running for re-election at a time when national polls show the public is weary of political stalemate and overwhelmingly wants more compromise. The tea party brand may not be as electric this year as it was in 2010. Meanwhile, the slowly improving economy could rob Republicans of their biggest issue.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/02/10/3422463/hartzler-tea-party-face-similar.html#storylink=cpy

Kander Builds his SoS War Chest
January 14, 2012

From the St. Louis Beacon via johncombest.com:

State Rep. Jason Kander, D-Kansas City, is reporting more than $442,000 in the bank for his bid for Missouri secretary of state, a haul that comes as his only announced Democratic rival dropped out of the contest.
Kander raised $232,029 during the fourth quarter of 2011, according to a summary sheet from his campaign made available Friday. Reports are not due until next Tuesday.
Up until this week, Kander was headed toward a Democratic primary with Rolla native Ryan Dillon. Not any more.
Dillon, a former aide to former U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Lexington, confirmed to the Beacon that he was dropping out of the race.
“I have had to turn my attention to my family obligations,” Dillon said. “I was not going to be able to focus the amount of energy and time needed on the campaign. And my family comes first. As of Wednesday, I am no longer a candidate.”
More: http://www.stlbeacon.org/voices/blogs/political-blogs/beacon-backroom/115356-kander-fattens-bank-account-for-secretary-of-state-bid-while-ryan-drops-out