Press "Enter" to skip to content

2016 State Senate Tip Sheet

We took a look at the hottest Senate races in the state, and after visiting with our subscribers from around the state we ranked them by the most activity to give you a look at what August and November will look like and what the Senate will look like next session. The first line gives you the district number, how we rate the partisan advantage, and the incumbent senator currently holding the office. At the end we give you a look at what the financial numbers look like.


#1 SD 19 TOSS UP

D+0.7 (Schaefer)

This will be the heavyweight fight in the state this year. Both sides have great candidates who will be fully funded, and will be slugging it out through the general election. Webber has a military history and the support of several Columbia constituencies, but has missed some votes.

While Rowden has had hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on his name ID over the past two election cycles, but has some votes that will be scrutinized. This is a district where Senator Schaefer won a hard fought victory eight years ago, but before him was reliably Democrat. There will be little ways to predict this one until the paid media begins.

Cash on Hand

Rep. Stephen Webber:                     $486,963

Rep. Caleb Rowden:                         $120,454



R+3.3 (Dempsey)

This is the hottest primary on either side of the aisle. The attacks are already flying, and there is no love lost on either side. Zerr has the support of most of the traditional St. Charles Republicans, while Eigel is supported by some of the activist who are new to Republican politics. The entry of former municipal judge Michael Carter likely aids Zerr. The primary is a toss up between Zerr and Eigel as of today, and this will be the race to watch this summer.

As for the general, Missouri Democrats generally admit they couldn’t defeat Zerr in a general election, but in this swing district they would have a reason to take a run at either Eigel or Carter. After the governor’s race this will be the most important primary in the state on the Republican side.

Cash on Hand


Richard Orr:                                   $0

Greg Upchurch:                             $0


Rep. Anne Zerr:                              $242,286

Bill Eigel:                                         $218,058

Michael Carter:                              $0



R+9.3 (Schmitt)

The race to replace Senator Schmitt is a contrast in most every way as Rick Stream and Andrew Koenig couldn’t be more different and still be Republicans. Stream started the race with several advantages in name ID, and a very broad donor base coming out of his narrow loss in the county executive race. However, Koenig has been working his ground game for a year and is actually leading in fundraising.

Stream started out the favorite, but as of today Koenig is gaining on him. Several clues of how the Senate Republican caucus shapes up internally next session could be shown by the winner of this primary.

As for the general, if Stream wins then it’s a safe Republican seat. However, if Koenig wins then Democrats feel they could have a shot. Eagleton, who lost a state Senate primary in 2008, is the candidate they feel could win in the right environment.

Cash on Hand


Mark Boyko:                                   $0

Stephen Eagleton:                         $0


Rep. Andrew Koenig:                    $77,556

Former Rep. Rick Stream:            $37,925



D+8.9 (Levota)

This will be the Democratic primary to watch in August. Rep. Rizzo caught a break when the mayor of Sugar Creek didn’t file, and has the clear fundraising advantage. Jessica Podhola is unfamiliar to the rest of the state, but is known among Democratic circles in Kansas City. She has worked for the Painters Union and brings a core group of supporters.

Rizzo breaking $100,000 at the first of the year will build momentum, and he is the clear favorite in what will be a competitive primary. The winner will be heavily favored in a race with former Rep. Brent Lasater. Come October if the Republicans are spending money in the 11th it will mean everything is going their way. The likely outcome is that the winner of the primary cruises in the general.

Cash on Hand


Rep. John Rizzo:                           $104,601

Jessica Podhola:                            $28,696

Anthony Banks:                             $0

Mary DiCarlo:                                $0


former Rep. Brent Lasater:         $0



D+5.1 (SIFTON)

Senator Sifton took a pass on a statewide race, and got to immediately see how needed he was in that body by leading several lengthy fights on the Senate floor. He will likely win re-election as his toughest potential opponent Rep. Haefner chose not to run after he re-entered the race.

We have it rated as a lean because the only way this race becomes competitive is if the map is narrowed to where just the 19th is competitive. If Stream and Zerr win their primaries, Republicans may not have anywhere else to spend money, and the 1st may become as attractive an opportunity as anywhere else. If that storm develops and the Republicans have a good year the race could be an actual race.

Cash on Hand

Senator Scott Sifton:                     $536,474

Randy Jotte:                                    $0



R+0.8 (Silvey)

Senator Silvey was always unlikely to be unopposed in this swing district. It’s actually the most competitive in the entire state. However, the reason he didn’t draw a higher profile opponent is that the Republican centrist has the support of most of the political sphere.

He will outraise his opponent by 10 or 20 to 1, and the only way he could lose is if the national environment becomes radioactive for Republicans. However, even in that environment he will still be favored to win.

Cash on Hand:

Ranen Bechthold:                        $0

Senator Ryan Silvey:                   $490,382



R+4.9 (Pearce)

This race will likely look like more of a race than it ends up being. House Speaker Pro Tem Denny Hoskins has done everything possible to lock this district down, and now Senator Pearce, who has already endorsed him, might have some more incentive to help him as his primary opponent from four years ago, Mike McGhee, surprised everyone by filing just before it closed.

We understand that McGhee’s ’04 funders are not inclined to take another chance on him and will be supporting Hoskins, which was his only chance. Hoskins will be a Senator in 2017.

Cash on Hand:


ElGene Ver Dught:                           $10


Rep. Denny Hoskins:                       $121,209

Former Rep. Mike McGhee:           $0


Bill Wayne:                                        $0



D+39.9 (Nasheed)

This race went from completely boring, to now having a purpose. That purpose could be that Senator Nasheed’s re-election could be her springboard to running for mayor of St. Louis in 2017. She will cruise to re-election, the key number is how much money does she raise in doing so.

Cash on Hand


Senator Jamilah Nasheed:          $299, 135

Dylan Hassinger:                          $0


Stephen Schaper:                          $0



D+20.8 (Holsman)

Senator Holsman won a tough primary 4 years ago, but will not have to worry about one in his re-election bid. He will now be able to stockpile money for a potential statewide run at the close of his senate career.

Cash on Hand


Senator Jason Holsman:             $224,388


Jeanne Bojarski:                            $0



R+6.2 (Emery)

It would seem that to defeat an incumbent in a Republican primary you would need to get to the right of him. Well good luck trying to get to the right of Senator Emery. He will easily win re-election and will only have to spend money as he chooses to do it.

Cash on Hand


Senator Ed Emery:                        $57,470

Bill Yardberry:                               $0


Lora Young:                                    $0



R+16.4 (Wallingford)

There was speculation for years that there could be primary opposition to Senator Wallingford, but in the end everyone mulling it decided they have little chance to defeat him. He did draw a Democratic opponent, but there just isn’t a path for a Democrat to defeat a Republican incumbent in Cape County today. Senator Wallingford will return with minimal opposition.

Cash on Hand

Donnie Owens:                               $0

Senator Wayne Wallingford:       $74,462



R+11.4 (Libla)

Senator Libla may be the safest incumbent on the ballot. He is facing a former member of Congress in Bill Burlison, but he was in Congress in the 1970s. Burlison has run and lost for something every election cycle for several years, while Libla might be the most beloved senator in the state back in his district. He will only campaign to the extent he wants to.

Cash on hand

Bill Burlison:                                   $17,563

Senator Doug Libla:                       $184,837



D+2.4 (Romine)

Senator Romine is unopposed for re-election.



D+33.9 (Curls)

Senator Curls is unopposed for re-election.



D+27.5 (Walsh)

Senator Walsh is unopposed for re-election.



R+19.9 (Sater)

Senator Sater is unopposed for re-election.



R+15.7 (Cunningham)

Senator Cunningham is unopposed for re-election.


Returning Republican

SD 2 Senator Onder

SD 6 Senator Kehoe

SD 8 Senator Kraus

SD 10 Senator Riddle

SD 12 Senator Hegeman

SD 16 Senator Brown

SD 18 Senator Munzlinger

SD 20 Senator Wasson

SD 22 Senator Wieland

SD 26 Senator Schatz

SD 28 Senator Parson

SD 30 Senator Dixon

SD 32 Senator Richard

SD 34 Senator Schaaf


Returning Democrats

SD 4 Senator Keaveny

SD 14 Senator Chappelle-Nadal

SD 24 Senator Schupp



Lean Republican: 1

Likely Republican: 2

Safe Republican: 4

Unopposed Republican: 3

Returning Republican: 14

Total: 24



Lean Democrat: 1

Likely Democrat: 1

Safe Democrat: 2

Unopposed Democrat: 2

Returning Democrat: 3

Total: 9

Toss Up: 1

Projection: 24 Republicans, 9 Democrats, and 1 Toss Up.


Republican Sens. Parson, Kraus, and Brown are all running for statewide office, and if successful, Democrats could reduce the Republican majority to 21. However, it’s highly unlikely that all three are successful, but it is likely that at least one of the three will move to the executive branch next year.

Precedent has been that some governors, such as Governor Holden, held a special election in February after Senator Maxwell was elected Lt. Governor, while others such as Governor Nixon have left Senate seats open for well over a year. Each of the three seats are likely to elect a Republican so look for a Republican governor to schedule a quick election where a potential Governor Koster would be slower to schedule a special election.

On the Democrats side, Senator Keaveny is widely felt to be the favorite to be nominated for a judgeship. However, if he is appointed there would be the time to have a special election held before session begins next year. Most view House Minority Leader Jake Hummel as the leading candidate. Also, Senator Nasheed could run for Mayor of St. Louis, and would then leave the Senate in April of next year.