Kickoff of Filing Sets Stage for August Campaigns
Plus: Updated caucus locations, St. Louis County Lincoln Days and more endorsements in the U.S. Senate race.
The kickoff of Missouri’s biennial filing day is often littered with surprises. But this year’s iteration may have taken the cake.
Obviously, the biggest news is U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan’s decision to run in the 1st Congressional District. The St. Louis City Democrat had considered running in the GOP-leaning 2nd Congressional District, but instead decided to enter into a race that will have him battling U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay (D-St. Louis City).
That race will be closely watched, since the district that encompasses all of St. Louis City and some of St. Louis County has a heavy Democratic lean. In essence, winning the Democratic primary is tantamount to election.
An auxiliary effect of Carnahan’s decision means there probably won’t be a major Democratic candidate running in the 2nd District. That’s the area where former Missouri Republican Chairwoman Ann Wagner and former Webster Groves Councilman Randy Jotte filed Tuesday to run.
Those two candidates – who had announced their intention to seek the seat long ago – will be joined by a pair of lesser-known candidates from St. Charles County. St. Peters residents John Morris and James O. Baker filed to run as Republicans in the district that encompasses St. Louis County, St. Charles County and Jefferson County.
Baker, by the way, got 17 percent in 2010 when he ran in a GOP primary against U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-St. Elizabeth. Luetkemeyer – who didn’t have a Democratic opponent in 2010 after a narrow victory in 2008 – ended up racking up 83 percent of the vote in that primary.
That doesn’t mean that the winner of the 2nd District primary will run unopposed. Three Democrats – St. Louis resident Bill Haas, Eureka resident George Weber and Ballwin resident Marshall Works – signed up on the first day of filing. But a candidate without name recognition or a propensity to raise a lot of funds could have trouble gaining traction in the GOP-leaning district.
Click here to see a list of candidates that have signed up so far for statewide office, the state legislature and the judiciary. And for information’s sake, here are interactive maps of the new House and Senate districts.
CAUCUS LOCATIONS UPDATE
A couple of weeks ago, this column tried to sort out the complicated web surrounding Republican presidential caucuses. While Missouri Republicans voted in a non-binding primary in February, they will utilize the caucuses to decide which candidates receive presidential delegates.
Since that time, the Missouri Republican Party has announced on its website the dates and times for various caucuses around the St. Louis area. St. Louis County Republicans will be caucusing by township at 10 a.m. on March 17, so the best bet is to check the Missouri Republican Party’s web site for specific locations.
St. Charles County will be holding its caucuses at 10 a.m. at St. Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles. And as noted earlier, Jefferson County will be holding its caucuses at 10 a.m. March 17 at Hillsboro R-3 Intermediate School in Hillsboro.
Not all caucuses are being held on March 17. St. Louis City and Jackson County, for instance, are holding caucuses on March 24 to accommodate both areas’ St. Patrick’s Day festivities.
LINCOLN DAYS AND WAITING GAMES
St. Louis County Republicans will be holding its annual Lincoln Day celebration at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the Doubletree Hotel in Chesterfield.
Lincoln Days are usually the preeminent gathering of the year for local Republicans. Last year’s festivities in St. Louis County included a keynote speech from Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, as well as ample time for party activists to mingle with elected officials and candidates.
Some candidates for state Senate from St. Louis County may not have a definite idea of where they will be running. That’s because a tentative state Senate map won’t become finalized until after a bipartisan commission votes again on the plan in March.
Secretary of State Robin Carnahan had urged candidates to hold off on filing for state Senate races until the map was officially approved. And while some have taken her advice, others have decided to file anyway.
BLUE BOOK RELEASED IN DIGITAL FORM
On a topic that has little to do with elections, Carnahan's office in late February put out the state's Blue Book in digital form.
The comprehensive guide contains a cavalcade of information about the state's executive, legislative and judicial branches. Included are short biographies of all of the state's officials.
A press release from Carnahan's office noted that this edition of the Blue Book will only be available online in an electronic format, as directed by the Missouri General Assembly. You can take a gander at the book by clicking here.