Jefferson City, MO – After the republican tsunami of 2010, and the redistricting changes of 2012, it looks like the state senate races in 2014 will be relatively calm. Only a few senate seats will see a hard fight, and just a handful of House seats should be up for grabs in 2014. In this article, we will focus on the state senate seats.
There are only two open competitive seats to fight over in 2014 and they both put the democrats on defense. They are SD 10 and SD 22. In SD 22 Ryan McKenna (D) is term limited in this D+4.4% leaning seat, but with all the success republicans have had in Jefferson County in the last two elections, this will probably be a hard fought race. Early reports have former State Rep. Meadows and Jeff Roorda in a possible primary, while several locally elected republicans may jostle for their party’s nomination. Republican strategist Robert Knodell said, “I expect a strong field of candidates in the Republican open Senate seats that will keep each of those in GOP hands. And recent trends in Jefferson County, plus a strong republican congressional presence there should make district 22 a legitimate battleground.”
SD 10 was shifted from Kansas City to the eastern side of the state and Sen. Justus (D) will most likely never meet her new constituents. SD 10 is a R+4leaning seat, which will help republican Jeanie Riddle, who has announced her intention to seek the seat. Riddle’s problem? She comes from the west side of the district, and the east side is where the majority of republican primary voters come from, and someone like former Rep. Charlie Norwald (R) could jump in and make the primary interesting. For the democrats, Rep. Ed Schieffer (D) would be a very strong candidate as he always has performed well in his republican leaning House district.
There are three incumbents that may have to organize for a challenge. In SD 24 John Lamping (R) has a new seat that leans D+3% against him. This could cause Lamping trouble, especially since the democrats perform better in suburban districts like this one.
Democrat leader Sen. Jolie Justus said, “We will have a caucus meeting about SDCC activities next week and I will be turning that over to other senators, but I know they will look at each district and work to recruit good candidates that will help us pick up seats in 2014.”
The only other two incumbents facing re-election in a seat that could be targeted are Senators Kraus (R) in SD 8 and Dixon (R) in SD 30. It is unlikely that either of these incumbents will be challenged because SD 8 gives the republican aR+3.8% advantage and SD 30 has a R+4.6% republican slant.
Campaign analyst Rod Jetton added, “The democrats may find candidates who can keep Kraus and Dixon busy and tie up resources, but it is doubtful that they will be defeated.”
SD 12 which is currently held by Sen. Lager (R) is an open safe republican seat with an R+7.4% lean. Early reports indicate a very crowded republican primary most likely between several current and former state representatives. Reps. Nance and Berry have a strong base to run from in northern Clay County, while the northern counties near Iowa also produce a significant number of primary votes. If either of these areas has only one candidate run, the candidate will have a huge advantage against challengers. However, if two or more candidates run from either northern Clay County or the northern republican counties near the Iowa boarder, they will decrease their chances to win. The Northwest corner of the district is split by Reps. Thompson, Neely and Guersey. Also it is possible for former Reps. Klippenstein or Guest to jump in.
In all the remaining seats there are republican and democrat incumbents seeking re-election from very safe districts.
Jetton concluded, “Most experts I have talked with agree that barring an odd situation we will probably not see any competitive primaries or generals in these districts. The only two exceptions would be if Sen. Keaveny had an African American take him on in SD 4 and it is possible that Sen. Chappelle-Nadal could likely draw a primary opponent in SD 14.
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