KC Area Near Bottom In Missouri Primary Voter Turn Out
August 9, 2012

(AP) – Fewer than one-fourth of Missouri’s registered voters cast ballots in this year’s primary elections.

The secretary of state’s office said Wednesday that 23 percent of the state’s nearly 4.1 million registered voters actually voted in Tuesday’s primary.

The top draw was a constitutional amendment expanding the right to pray in public places, which attracted a total of nearly 943,000 votes while easily passing.

About twice as many people cast Republican ballots as Democratic ballots – led by the GOP race for U.S. Senate, won by Congressman Todd Akin.

Turnout was nearly identical to the 2010 primary. It was highest this year in several rural counties, topping out at 44 percent in Harrison County. The lowest voter turnouts were recorded in Boone County and in the Kansas City area.

Missouri GOP Says Primary Turn Out Proves They’re Winning the ‘Motivation’ Race
August 9, 2012

Missouri Republicans say the turn-out from this week’s GOP primary proves there is an enthusiasm gap between Missouri Democrats and Republicans.
The GOP comes even though turn-out for the primary was very light across most of the state.
They cite the fact that more voters picked up a Republican ballot on Tuesday than a democratic ballot. The GOP primary was headlined by an intense three-way US Senate primary that was covered heavily by news organizations and campaign commercials were broadcast throughout the state for weeks.
The Missouri GOP says 602,000 Republican ballots were cast, the second most ever. A statement by the GOP says the 2012 turnout was a third bigger than four years ago when Republicans had a competitive primary for Governor.
GOP Executive Director Lloyd Smith bragged about it in a news release.
“Across the state, Republican voters are motivated and excited to elect conservatives while Democrats are tired of defending four years of failed, job-killing policies from Barack Obama and his allies, Claire McCaskill and Jay Nixon.”
Sarah Steelman lost that race, too. She was defeated by the-Mid-Missouri Congressman Kenny Hulshof.
GOP Executive Director Lloyd Smith bragged about the turn-out in a news release.
“Across the state, Republican voters are motivated and excited to elect conservatives while Democrats are tired of defending four years of failed, job-killing policies from Barack Obama and his allies, Claire McCaskill and Jay Nixon.”
Smith turned back the Democratic arguments their party lacked a white-hot campaign to draw voters.
The GOP says the Democratic primary turn-out was the lowest since the late 1990’s

Holsman Wins KC Senate Primary, Faces No Fall Opponent
August 8, 2012

KC Star:
Jason Holsman will represent Kansas City in the Missouri Senate after defeating Crystal Williams in the 7th District Democratic primary on Tuesday.
Holsman, a three-term member of the Missouri House, garnered 7,467 votes to only 6,634 for Williams, a Jackson County legislator. He will be unopposed this fall.
“I’m very proud of the effort our entire team put forward,” Holsman said. “We went out and had thousands of conversion with voters across this district.”
In the 21st Senate District, incumbent Republican David Pearce defeated state Rep. Mike McGhee in the GOP primary 12,452 to 6,653.
Pearce, who chairs the Senate education committee, he will face Democrat ElGene Ver Dught and Libertarian Steven Hedrick in November. The district encompasses half of Clay County and all of Johnson and Lafayette counties, among others.
In the 31st Senate District Republican primary, Ed Emery defeated Scott Largent and Dave Morris in a district that covers several counties, including Cass and Henry.
Emery, of Lamar, will face Democrat Charles Burton of Drexel this fall.
Judy Morgan cruised to victory over Sarah Gillooly in the Democratic nomination in the 24th Missouri House District.. She will face Republican Jonathan Sternberg, a lawyer, in the midtown Kansas City district.
Democrat Brandon Ellington, who won a special election a year ago for a seat in the state House, easily won a full two-year term after defeating Henry Carner in the 22nd District primary with more than 86 percent of the vote..
Another Democratic primary in an East Side House district saw Randy Dunn prevail over Erik Stafford and Derron Black in the 23rd District.
In the 27th House District in south Kansas City, Bonnaye Mims defeated Bill Clinton Young and Adnan Bayazid for the Democratic nomination.
Joe Runions defeated Chris Moreno in the race for the Democratic nomination in the 37th House District, which encompasses all of Grandview and parts of south Kansas City, Lee’s Summit and Raymore. He will face Republican Nola Wood in November.
In the 31st District, incumbent Rep. Sheila Solon defeated Chris Lievsay in the Republican primary. On the Democratic side, Dale Walkup defeated Syed Asif.

4th Time Around: Turk to Face Cleaver for Congress
August 8, 2012

(AP) — Jacob Turk has won his fourth straight Republican primary in Missouri’s 5th Congressional District.
Unofficial results Tuesday night show Turk topping three other candidates in the GOP field.
The win sets up Turk’s fourth straight showdown in the general election with Democratic Congressman Emanuel Cleaver. The former Kansas City mayor was unopposed in his party’s primary as he pursues a fifth term in the U.S. House.
Cleaver defeated Turk by a nine-point margin in 2010 after easy victories in their two previous contests. The 5th District was redrawn this year and now includes part of central Missouri.

Missouri primary, Latest AP Wrap,
August 7, 2012

(AP) – Missouri voters cast ballots Tuesday in several races, including a GOP Senate primary contest and a ballot measure that would, among other things, allow students to refuse school assignments that violate their religious beliefs.

Registered voters can choose a ballot for any political party or ask for a ballot that merely poses questions about issues, such as the proposed state constitutional amendment related to prayer.

Turnout early Tuesday was reportedly light in Kansas City, where Shawn Kieffer, Republican director of elections for the Kansas City Election Board, had expected a turnout of about 15 percent. Based on early numbers, he thought the final figure would be closer to 10 percent or 12 percent of the 215,000 registered voters in his jurisdiction.

“Turnout so far is extremely light,” Kieffer said.

Gary Stoff, Republican director for the St. Louis Board of Elections, said polling places he visited had a steady, but not heavy, flow of activity. He says city election officials were expecting turnout near the expected 25 percent – or more – statewide because of the number of hotly contested races in St. Louis.

The top of the Missouri ballot features the U.S. Senate race. For Democrats, there is just one choice – Sen. Claire McCaskill. Republicans have several choices, including front-runners John Brunner, Sarah Steelman and Todd Akin. Also on the ballot are primaries for governor, other statewide offices and some legislative seats.

All three Republican Senate candidates have claimed they are the most conservative. All vow they’ll try to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care law. They also share a similar economic plan centered on less government, including reductions in taxes, spending, debt and regulations.

John Barninger, 60, a legislative aide at the Missouri Capitol, said he supported Akin because he likes “his conservative values.”

“I think the country needs to turn back around. We’re in real bad shape,” he said

In St. Louis, U.S. Reps. William Lacy Clay and Russ Carnahan have appealed to the largely Democratic electorate by casting themselves as the most effective liberal – or progressive – candidate.

Carnahan chose to run in the 1st District, currently represented by Clay, after Carnahan’s current 3rd District was essentially dismantled during redistricting. The boundaries were redrawn by the Republican-led state Legislature after Missouri lost one of its nine congressional districts as a result of the 2010 census.

Morning turnout was light both at Chesterfield City Hall, a wealthy suburb in the 2nd Congressional District, and at the Missouri School for the Blind in a working-class neighborhood of St. Louis located in the 1st Congressional District.

Bob Nicolay, 65, said he voted for Carnahan largely because he has always lived in Carnahan’s old district and has been impressed with Carnahan’s concern for the conditions of the Veteran’s Hospital in St. Louis.

Martin J. McNally, 68, of St. Louis, is retired on a military pension and runs a business that markets publications. He voted for Clay because “he’s for the working men and women of this district.”

The ballot also includes a measure that would expand an existing section of the Missouri Constitution stating people can pray in public if they do not disturb the peace, and that prayer is allowed before government meetings. It also would state that students cannot be compelled to participate in school assignments violating their religious beliefs.

Supporters contend the measure reinforces the right to pray and protects students. Opponents argue the measure could cause confusion over what is allowed and is likely to trigger lawsuits.

“It’s unnecessary. It seems to open the door for the frankly scientifically illiterate people to perpetuate the curriculum of the state and the school district on things like evolution,” said Ryan Owen, 31, a lawyer from Florissant. He said the state constitution already allows individuals to pray in school.

“At a minimum that’s going to prompt litigation, which is just a big old mess,” Owen said.

Audrey Owens, 58, of St. Louis, supported the prayer measure, which she felt is necessary.

“I don’t have a kid, but I think prayers in school can only help” given the violence in society, she said.