2024 Top 5 Competitive Senate Races
#1 SD21 R+26.44% Senator Hoskins is term-limited.
PRIMARY: LEAN GREGORY GENERAL: SAFE REPUBLICAN
The 21st is a new district that takes in 37% of the Kansas City suburbs in Clay County and 63% of rural central Missouri stretching all the way to Booneville and into Howard County.
Since the district was drawn Rep. Kurtis Gregory has been running for senate and working the district. He is a farmer from Saline County and true to form has a resume of economic development legislation on his resume.
When Rep. Richey dropped out of the speaker’s race; he immediately jumped into the senate race. Again true to form being from the suburbs he has a resume of social issue legislation on his resume.
The district is about 3/4th in the Kansas City media market so it will be expensive. It will also be a clash of styles and personalities. You really couldn’t find two people more different than these two candidates, and when that is the case the race always gets nasty.
Because he has the fundraising advantage and has been working the district longer you give Rep. Gregory the early edge, but this will be one of the hardest-fought and most expensive races of the cycle.
When discussing this race you have to keep in mind that there is a court case over senate districts. Specifically if the 12th meets the constitutional standards. If the court rules that it doesn’t then it will very likely change the makeup of the new 21st.
Rep. Kurtis Gregory
Total Raised this Cycle: $500
Cash on Hand: $ 115,726
The Wonderdog PAC
Cash on Hand: $44,110
TOTAL CASH ON HAND: $159,836
Rep. Doug Richey
Total Raised this Cycle: $0.00
Cash on Hand: $44,494
Doug for Freedom PAC
Cash on Hand: $2,899
TOTAL CASH ON HAND: $47,393
#2 SD15 R+7.72% Senator Koenig is term limited.
PRIMARY: LEAN GREGORY GENERAL: LEAN REPUBLICAN
This suburban St. Louis race to replace Senator Koenig will be a major league fight. Former Rep. David Gregory has come out of the gate early with big endorsements and big fundraising numbers.
However, he has been followed pretty quickly into the race by St. Louis County Councilman Mark Harder, and Wildwood Mayor Jim Bowlin.
Harder likely has a name ID advantage by being a longtime local official in a good party of the district while Bowlin would likely have a base in Wildwood.
However, it’s pretty clear that Gregory is set to have a big fundraising advantage. If he produces that again it will come down to one question: will he knock his doors?
Senator Koenig has proven that you can win the 15th on the doors. We give Gregory the early advantage because of his fundraising prowess, so if he knocks his doors he is the favorite.
Former Rep. David Gregory
Total Raised this Cycle: $95,491
Cash on Hand: $85,804
Show Me Growth PAC
Cash on Hand: $30,814
TOTAL CASH ON HAND: $116,618
St. Louis County Councilman Mark Harder
Total Raised this Cycle: $5,450
Cash on Hand: $22,051
TOTAL CASH ON HAND: $22,051
Wildwood Mayor Jim Bowlin
Total Raised this Cycle: $135,934
Cash on Hand: $119,761
TOTAL CASH ON HAND: $119,761
#3 SD11 R+4.06% Senator Rizzo is term limited.
PRIMARY: TOSS UP PRIMARY: LEAN SAULS
While the 8th is trending more democratic the era of Trump has made Independence more Republican, and now presents the Republicans with their best pick-up opportunity of the cycle.
With the Republican’s new-found electoral favor in the 11th seems to also come a primary.
‘22 candidate in the 8th Joe Niccola has thrown his name in.
Former Rep. Bill Kidd recently terminated his committee. There was also a physician considering the race on the Republican side but he has apparently bowed out of the running for now.
While Niccola ran unsuccessfully for the 8th last cycle. He lives in the 11th and redistricting swept him up mid-race. He had built a pretty base in the 8th, but that won’t be much help to him in the 11th. He will have to raise significantly more money to pull off a win this time.
There are several Republicans currently recruiting freshman Rep. Aaron McMullen to consider the race. The mustache-clad legislator is branding himself as a social media firebrand but does have a serious background as a veteran and his father pastors a church in Independence. It’s likely the republican senate committee, and his newly signed consulting firm Axiom Strategies is hoping the more serious version shows up to the race in the 11th.
On the Democrat’s side, Rep. Robbie Sauls is thus far the only announced candidate. If he can keep it that way and watch the Republicans fight it out while raising and saving his money then he has a shot at keeping the 11th. In an odd way, this will be one swing district where Trump on the top of the ticket possibly helps the Republican candidate.
Until it becomes more clear who is running in the Republican primary it’s too soon to handicap it, but with Boone County very likely to flip blue there are a lot of Republicans counting on the 11th flipping red to maintain that 24-10 senate majority.
Rep. Robbie Sauls
Total Raised this Cycle: $2,532
Cash on Hand: $33,969
TOTAL CASH ON HAND: $33,969
Rep. Aaron McMullen
Total Raised this Cycle: $0.00
Cash on Hand: $3,945
TOTAL CASH ON HAND: $3,945
Total Raised this Cycle: $1,651
Cash on Hand: $869
TOTAL CASH ON HAND: $869
#4 SD23 R+6.08% Senator Eigel is term-limited.
PRIMARY: LEAN CHRISTOFANELLI GENERAL: LIKELY REPUBLICAN
The 23rd is a changing district and like everything in St. Charles County has gone from the picture of normal rock-ribbed Republicans, to a little different, to a little odd, to now borderline just plain weird.
Rep. Phil Christofanelli has been a loyal supporter of Senator Eigel and you would have to assume for all the work he has put in inherits a great deal of his support and campaign infrastructure. Christofanelli is also one of the best strategic minds in all of Missouri politics who has grown into his leading role in the house and will be an impactful senator on day one. He also plainly will raise a hell of a lot of money.
Rep. Schnelting has also jumped into the race. He is in the National Guard and has already been leaving attacks on Christofanelli right out of the gate.
One wildcard in the race is Wentzville Municipal Judge Mike Carter. Carter ran last cycle for state senate in the district that includes Wentzville, but has recently moved into the 23rd and is considering a run. He can spend big money and has shown that he would if he gets in.
This district is an interesting mix. There is a large contingent of Dempsey Republicans who are Reagan Republicans mixed with a large number of former labor democrats who have fled north county and are now labor Republicans. Then as you travel west there are a growing number of suburban Republicans who are perpetually mad and activists. Think Webster Groves, but looking in a mirror.
The Republicans will publicly fight over that group while trying to hedge their bets with the first two. In this scenario, it’s not completely out of the question for the right, probably self-funding Democrat to come out and make this a race in the fall.
For now, Christofanelli’s fundraising prowess, time spend loyally working with Senator Eigel and his allies, and his ability to navigate an increasingly complicated race gives him the edge.
Rep. Phil Christofanelli
Total Raised this Cycle: $18,401
Cash on Hand: $161,424
Cash on Hand: $28,387
TOTAL CASH ON HAND: $189,811
Rep. Adam Schnelting
Total Raised this Cycle: $16,670
Cash on Hand: $58,027
TOTAL CASH ON HAND: $58,027
Wentzville Municipal Judge Mike Carter
Total Raised this Cycle: $ n/a
Cash on Hand: $ n/a
TOTAL CASH ON HAND: $ n/a
#5 SD19 D+13.38% Senator Rowden is term-limited.
PRIMARY: LEAN WEBBER PRIMARY: TOSS UP
GENERAL: LEAN DEMOCRAT
The 19th was the district most changed by redistricting. Due to the legal framework of redistricting Boone County finally grew to be its own district. The only reason the Republicans have held the seat for 16 years has been because there was an adjoining county attached to Boone.
From all accounts, it appears that former Representative and ‘08 nominee Stephen Webber is planning to make another run, and has jumped out to a lead. If the Democrats coalesce behind him then he would be in a great position to take the seat and there isn’t a great deal the Republicans could do about it.
However, there are several other candidates who could make the race, starting with former Columbia Mayor Brian Treece. Also, Rep. David Tyson Smith could be a contender along with former Representative and ‘20 nominee Judy Baker.
On the Republican side, they have to hope for a bloody Democratic primary and a candidate who can pick up Democratic votes. So far former mayoral candidate Randal Minchew has thrown his name in. There is also Rep. Reisch and former Rep. Bayse.
However, by far the best Republican chance to hold the seat is Columbia lawyer Jennifer Bukowsky. She could raise the money and has the connections to give the Republicans a chance at holding the 19th.
Former Rep. Stephen Webber
Total Raised this Cycle: $103,870
Cash on Hand: $86,912
Cash on Hand: $203,636
TOTAL CASH ON HAND: $290,548
Total Raised this Cycle: $n/a
Cash on Hand: $n/a
TOTAL CASH ON HAND: $n/a
Scott Faughn is the publisher of The Missouri Times, owner of the Clayton Times in Clayton; SEMO Times in Poplar Bluff; and host of the only statewide political television show, This Week in Missouri Politics.