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National trend helps Republicans across Missouri

By   /   November 3, 2010  /   News  /   1 Comment

With voters nationally electing enough Republicans to regain control of the U.S. House from Democrats, at least six-out-of-nine representatives from Missouri will be from the GOP when the new Congress takes over.

Missouri's nine congressional districts

The big upset of Tuesday night was in District 4 in western Missouri, where Vicky Hartzler, a Republican, beat longtime U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton, a Democrat.

According to unofficial election returns from the Missouri Secretary of State, Hartzler received 50.4 percent of the vote compared to 45.1 percent for Skelton, who has represented the district since 1977 and is chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. Hartzler is a former state House representative and political consultant.

Across the state, in District 3, neither candidate would concede defeat or declare victory. Incumbent U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan, a Democrat, is defending his seat against challenger Ed Martin, a Republican.

Both candidates, before sending their supporters home around midnight, vowed to have every last vote counted. Unofficial returns show Carnahan with 48.9 percent of the vote compared to 46.7 percent for Martin.

Carnahan is leading Martin with 4,418 votes, according to election returns. Martin in his closing speech to supporters, however, referenced problems earlier Tuesday when poll workers across the state reported having difficulties when trying to access the electronic database online designed to verify voter registration information.

“Every vote will be counted. It’s too close to call,” Martin said in south St. Louis.

Carnahan voiced similar words to his supporters in downtown St. Louis.

“We are going to make sure every vote is counted,” Carnahan said.

The thinking is that either candidate might decide to file a lawsuit.

Statewide races

Just as the polls closed at 7:00 p.m. — and while anyone who was still in line at a polling place voted  — Fox News Channel declared U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, a Republican, a winner in the election race to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Kit Bond, also a Republican.

According to unofficial results, Blunt won with 54.3 percent of the vote compared to 40.6 percent for Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, a Democrat and sister to Russ Carnahan.

The rest of the major news organizations waited an hour or two before calling the race in Blunt’s favor.

Blunt spent the evening with supporters in Springfield, Missouri. In his victory speech, similar to many of his campaign stops, he focused his attention on Washington D.C. “Missourians are sending a message that they want common sense, that they want private sector jobs to be a goal of the country,” he told supporters.

In another statewide race, the Republican challenger, Tom Schweich ousted incumbent Missouri Auditor Susan Montee, a Democrat. Schweich received 50.9 percent of the vote compared to 45.4 percent for Montee.

Soon after midnight, David Cole, the chairman of the Missouri Republican Party, released a statement calling the results around the nation and in Missouri “historic victories” that will be remembered for generations.

“In race after race and state after state, overwhelming Republican victories serve as both a repudiation of the Democrats failed agenda and a call to return to responsible, common-sense solutions that will create jobs, jump start the economy, and rein in a national debt that is threatening our future,” Cole said.

Ballot initiatives

Proposition A easily won with 68.4 percent voting “yes” and 31.6 percent voting “no.”

Prop A will now give voters in St. Louis and Kansas City a chance, using phrasing from the winning campaign, to approve or disapprove of city earnings taxes in their next municipal elections in April and elections held every five years thereafter.

If passed in April in either St. Louis or Kansas City, it would require the city where it is approved to phase out the city earnings tax over a ten-year period. The measure also prevents cities elsewhere in Missouri from enacting future earnings taxes.

“The approval of Proposition A by Missouri voters is a victory for the rights of voters and taxpayers,” said Marc Ellinger, spokesperson for the Let Voters Decide campaign, in a prepared statement.  “Prop A prohibits the politicians from imposing any new local earnings taxes on working people and businesses in Missouri.”

Proposition B also passed with 51.6 percent voting “yes” and 48.4 percent voting “no.”

Prop B will require large-scale dog breeding operations throughout Missouri to provide each dog under their care with sufficient food, clean water, and space; necessary veterinary care; regular exercise and adequate rest between breeding cycles. Prop B also prohibits any breeder from having more than 50 breeding dogs.

By Brian R. Hookbrhook@missouriwatchdog.org, (314) 482-7944

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Brian formerly served as staff reporter for Watchdog.org.