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July ’22 Tip Sheet: State Senate

  

STATE SENATE TIP SHEET

Let’s review the current state of the senate with two weeks out.
Here is today’s state of play:
Rowden Republicans: 16 – Senate Democrats: 10 – Eigel Republicans: 7 –
Senator Wieland: 1

Of the 17 coming back the senate looks like:
Senate Democrats: 7 – Rowden Republicans: 5 – Eigel Republicans: 5

There were two elements placed into the ‘22 cycle: 1. The supporters of Senator Eigel have actively engaged in running primary challengers to incumbent senators & 2. The Right Path PAC which when formed was understood to be a push back on the conservaive caucus. 

Well #1 has been very successful in continuing the war on Rowden republicans while #2 thus far really hasn’t done much of anything to change the ultimate dynamic of the next senate. 

There are more competitive primaries than ever before. It’s an impressive continuation of war from session. However, if the Rowden republicans are just going to just take it over and over and over and over, you can’t really blame anyone for continuing to dish out the punishment. 

With two weeks out we can safely call five of these races, but honestly not as confidently as we have in the past. 

SD4 Senator May seeking re-election. SAFE MAY
SD14 Senator Williams seeking re-election. SAFE WILLIAMS
SD18 Senator O’Laughlin is seeking re-election. SAFE OLAUGHLIN
SD28 Senator Crawford is seeking re-election. SAFE CRAWFORD
SD34 Senator Luetkemeyer is seeking re-election. SAFE LUETKEMEYER

That leaves brings the state of play to
Senate Democrats: 9 – Rowden Republicans: 8 – Eigel Republicans: 5

Then there are another three races where three incumbent senators are facing legitimate primary challengers, but with two weeks out we can predict three likely winners. There is also one democratic open seat which is in St. Louis County that is likely to be held by the democrats with Rep. Tracy McCreery. 

SD6 Senator Bernskoetter is seeking re-election. LIKELY BERNSKOETTER

This campaign has gone from an afterthought to an actual organized effort to out Senator Bernskoetter. Scott Reidel campaigns on his experience as a combat veteran, and has focused on Camden County that was only recently added to the 6th.

Senator Bernskoetter was able to see the challenge coming pretty early in the cycle and has run a full campaign, actually more a campaign than when he first ran for office four years ago. 

Reidel is a good candidate, and this is a part of the state that does have a very high regard for a combat veteran. 

Bottom line: Reidel has probably made the case for himself to be elected, but in the end there hasn’t been a case offered to not re-elect a senator who could be in senate leadership in a district that state government matters more to than perhaps anywhere else in the state. 

Bernskoetter for Missouri 
Contributions this cycle: $171,461.00
Cash on hand: $227,234.55
Debts: $0
Cash on hand minus debt: $227,234
Six Pack PAC
Contributions this cycle: $58,700.00
Cash on hand:$43,580.00

Patriots for Riedel
Contributions this cycle: $28,849
Cash on hand: $3,892
Debts: $0
Cash on hand minus debt: $3,892

SD8 Senator Mike Cierpiot is seeking re-election. LIKELY CIERPIOT 

In a similar election to the 6th Senator Cieripiot is facing an unexpectedly spirited re-election campaign However, in the 8th Cierpiot has the good fortune of having two challengers in Joe Nicola and Rachl Aguirre. 

Aguirre was recruited by allies of the Eigel republicans then lost their support when Nicola came in at the end. That dividing of the anti-incumbent vote could be crucial as 

Cierpiot is drowning his opponents on cable, mail, and radio. However, it wouldn’t take as much money for them as it would Cierpiot. 

Bottom line: The anti-incumbent folks out recruited themselves, and ended up creating their own opposition, but you were never gonna beat a Cierpiot in a Jackson County republican primary. 

Cierpiot for Missouri
Contributions this cyle: $131,427.08
Cash on hand: $143,204.56
Debts: N/A
Cash on hand minus debt:$ 95,461
Jackson County Leadership PAC 
Contributions this cycle: $126,350.00
Cash on hand: $82,817.70

Citizens for Joe Nicola
Contributions this cycle: $43,189.69
Cash on hand: $15,110.17
Debts: $8,482.51
Cash on hand minus debt: $6,628
Truth and Light PAC
Contributions this cycle: $0
Cash on hand: $0
Debts: $0
Cash on hand minus debt: $0

Rachl Aguirre
Citizens for Rachl Aguirre
Contributions this cycle: $7,992.82
Cash on hand: $2,324.77
Debts: $3,200.00
Cash on hand minus debt: $4,792

SD30 Senator Lincoln Hough is seeking re-election. LIKELY HOUGH

In another race where an incumbent is having to work harder to get re-elected than to get elected. He didn’t just burst out of the gate this summer, but he has responded to the threat of former Springfield City Councilwoman Angela Romine with a full tv, radio, doors, and mail campaign. About what you would expect from the incoming Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman, and future statewide candidate. 

The former Councilwoman is putting up a legitimate fight and pretty clearly has the backing of the establishment at city hall behind her. She has put out a plethora of signs beside the Burlison for Congress signs that are blatantly against the city ordinances that she swore to uphold, and thus far city hall has had her back all the way. She will run better than some would have anticipated, but is still in an uphill climb. 

Bottom line: This race will be closer than it should be, but in the end Springfield will hold back from Cori Bushing itself. 

Hough for Missouri
Contributions this cycle:$386,290.86
Cash on hand: $349,332.73
Debts: $0
Cash on hand minus debt: $349,332
Lincoln PAC
Contributions this cycle: $132,243.32
Cash on hand: $338,091.86

Angela Romine
Contributions this cycle: $21,030.36
Cash on hand: $6,853.33
Debts: $0
Cash on hand minus debt: $6,853.33

SD 24 Senator Jill Schupp is term limited. LIKELY MCCREERY

This will be the one senate race in the state that is competitive in the fall, where Rep. McCreery is facing physician George Hruza in a race to replace the term limited Senator Jill Schupp. 

It would take several unlikely things to happen for Senator Rowden not to be the Senate Pro Tem in January, but if he lost an incumbent while trying to save caucus money to pick up a longshot of a seat that could be one of them. First of all he would lose the vote to Senator Eigel’s caucus, but more than that it would light up complaints in his own caucus. 

Bottom line: There will be plenty of time to break this one down, and it will for sure be a competitive race, but with gas prices going down it starts off with Rep. McCreery in the lead. 

Rep. Tracy McCreery
Contributions this cycle:$484,962.76
Cash on hand: $602,123.60
Debts: $100,000.00
Cash on hand minus debt: $502,123
Serve Missouri PAC
Contributions this cycle: $145,258.20
Cash on hand: $187,996.00
Debts: N/A$
Cash on hand minus debt: $187,996

Hruza for Missouri
Contributions this cycle: $238,203.79
Cash on hand: $149,376.43
Debts: $99,812.80
Cash on hand minus debt: $49,564

It those races come in as we expect them to that will leave a senate of:
Rowden Republicans: 11 –  Senate Democrats: 10  – Eigel Republicans: 5

We have ranked the remaining eight races by competitiveness below.

#1 SD22 Senator Wieland is term-limited: TOSS-UP

This is the hardest race to project because the former democratic state representative is an extremely hard candidate to project. He has put in nearly $200,000 of his own money, and normally that doesn’t mean a lot because plenty of candidates have put that money in and never had any intention to spend it, but it’s pretty clear he is. Will labor members finally show up in a primary? If they do it will be as impressive as the trial attorney’s alliance with the conservaitve caucus. Some thought Rep. Roden would take votes away from Roorda, but with less than $10,000 raised it seems unlikely that he will take away many more votes from Roorda as Shaul as their districts are closely intertwined, and likely not a lot of from either. 

Rep. Shaul has some institutional support in fundraising and has been out on the doors as has his staff. He has a good crew of traditional republicans on his side, and has the resources to close. If he gets his footing established, who does he attack?

The Missouri Chamber came in with $40,000 for Shaul and put together another $20,000 over the weekend, so he has moves to make. 

Rep. Coleman has a lot going for her from charter school money, to the sole Missouri Right to Life endorsement, to being the only woman, national news coverage of her work on abortion, and can present the best on the doors. She probably has a leg up on the votes that both she and Rep. Shaul are fighting over, but will 60% of those voters be enough? 

The last poll I saw had the race with Coleman 23%, Roorda 20%, Shaul at 19% and the poll didn’t ask about Roden who typically pulls a couple points from each of the two men. 

Bottom line: Ok maybe two bottom lines. #1 Does Rep. Coleman or Rep. Shaul win the votes of traditional republicans, and by how much? #2 How many of the current Roorda supporters actually show up and take a republican ballot? The second is almost an impossible question to answer so this race is a toss up. 

Roorda For Senate
Contributions this cycle: $262,535.97
Cash on hand: $194,472.28
Debts: $180,001.00
Cash on hand minus debt: $14,471
JEFF PAC
Contributions this cycle: $265,667
Cash on hand: $65,348

Friends Of Mary Elizabeth Coleman
Contributions this cycle: $142,532.01
Cash on hand: $61,076.35
Debts: N/A
Cash on hand minus debt: $61,076
Conservative Solutions for Missouri PAC
Contributions this cycle: $94,480.00
Cash on hand: $94,027.79
Debts: N/A
Cash on hand minus debt: $94,027

Friends Of Shaul
Contributions this cycle: $99,553.14
Cash on hand: $52,874.74
Debts: N/A$
Cash on hand minus debt: $52,874
JeffCo Vision PAC
Contributions this cycle: $90,374.53
Cash on hand: $95,842.72

Citizens for Shane Roden
Contributions this cycle: $4,859
Cash on hand: $6,669

#2 SD26 Senator Schatz is term-limited: TOSS-UP

The 26th is as close as any district in the state. The last polling I saw had all three candidates within 4% of each other hovering around 20%. Future conservative caucus member Ben Brown is benefitting from Rep. Nate Tate and businessman Bob Jones fighting over the same voters. Now Brown was recently photographed with a man who beat his wife, his kids, and even his mistress, but it’s likely he can overcome the embarrassment.

Bottom line: If either Tate or Jones are going to defeat Brown then one of them is going to have to make a big TV buy. If they do then they will be the favorite. If they don’t then Ben Brown who might be working harder than anyone this side of Curtis Trent will be the favorite, and there will be plenty of fingers looking for the right path to point at. 

Ben Brown For Missouri
Contributions this cycle: $160,035.01
Cash on hand: $83,563.86
Debts: N/A$
Cash on hand minus debt: $83,563
BB Freedom Fund
Contributions this cycle: $33,250.00
Cash on hand: $33,250.00
Debts: N/A$
Cash on hand minus debt: $33,250

Bob Jones for Senate
Contributions this cycle: $197,776.46
Cash on hand: $138,858.25
Debts: $78,868.00
Cash on hand minus debt: $59,990
Conservative Leadership for Missouri PAC
Contributions this cycle: $27,625.00
Cash on hand: $27,407.50
Debts: N/A$
Cash on hand minus debt: $27,407

Citizens for Nathan Tate
Contributions this cycle: $171,511
Cash on hand: $46,194
Missouri Conservative Alliance
Contributions this cycle: $135,214
Cash on hand: $75,600

#3 SD2 Senator Onder is term-limited: LEAN SCHROER

This race has been what everyone anticipated: mean, nasty, and expensive. This was to be the key race in the state pitting the Rowden republicans vs. the Eigel republicans, the 100 PAC vs. Right Path PAC. 

Well as of now Rep. Wiemann has been pretty much left to fight for himself. He is doing his doors and his attacks on Rep. Schroer for missing votes have been landing which as kept the race close. 

Rep. Schroer’s success in cultivating the right wing means that Rep. Wiemann will have to outspend him. As it looks more likely that they are on a path towards parity in spending Wiemann is over performing and making it close. 

Bottom line: It’s close now, but expect this race to break over the weekend. Without a big expenditure for Wiemann, if I had to pick one I’d say that Schroer has the upper hand heading into election day. 

Citizens for Wiemann
Contributions this cycle: $125,128.74
Cash on hand: $179,849.48
Debts: $0
Cash on hand minus debt: $179,849
JW Leadership Fund
Contributions this cycle: $106,045.46
Cash on hand: $65,881.99

Friends of Nick Schroer
Contributions this cycle: $117,841.08
Cash on hand: $43,838.53
Debts: N/A
Cash on hand minus debt: $43,838
1776 PAC
Contributions this cycle: $141,211.67
Cash on hand: $ 280,291.39

#4 SD32 Senator Bill White is running for re-election: LEAN WHITE

In what is the closest incumbent race in the state Senator Bill White is in a dogfight for re-election with Jill Carter who has advocated for autism issues and other various conservative causes at the capitol in the past. 

She has done a very good job of building a base that is actually for her and not just against Senator White. She has taken advantage of allies of the conservative caucus to build from there and attract a group that is more against Senator White, or any incumbent for that matter, to come up with a tight race. 

I would not have picked her out of the gates to become the challenger with the best shot to flip an incumbent seat from a Rowden republican to an Eigel republican but that is the way it is shaping up with a week out. 

Senator White has benefitted from many of his colleagues sending him money and ground game resources, but thus far has refused to sign off on responding to the attacks on him with attacks of his own. 

SD32 might end up making a real difference in the floor leader race when the votes are counted. 

Bottom line: Joplin is now the epicenter of the best chance to directly take away from the Rowden caucus and add to the Eigel caucus both sides are unloading their arsenals in Joplin this week. It might end up making a real difference in the floor leader race when the votes are counted. 

Elect Bill White
Contributions this cycle: $144,584.72
Cash on hand: $53,980.64
Debts: $0
Cash on hand minus debt: $53,980
Southwest Missouri Patriot PAC
Contributions this cycle: $112,716.00
Cash on hand: $43,420.20

Friends of Jill Carter
Contributions this cycle: $89,818
Cash on hand: $35,765
Missouri Freedom Foundation PAC*
Contributions this cycle: $111,301
Cash on hand: $42,816

* Missouri Freedom Foundation PAC has been assisting multiple candidates but has been the primary PAC that has been funding the attacks on Senator White. 

#5 SD20 Senator Burlison is running for congress: LEAN TRENT

Rep. Curtis Trent has been busting his ass in this district for a solid year. It helped that most felt that Christian and Greene Counties would have to be split so he could focus on Greene. 

Springfield businessman Brian Gelner posted an incredible first quarter of fundraising mostly from in the district. Since then he has continued to build support, but there is a clear difference in the intensity of Gelner’s ground game compared to Trent’s.

Bottom Line: Gelner has been a phenomenal first time candidate, but outside groups have come in to help keep the spending close enough that Trent’s ground game gives him an edge

Friends Of Curtis Trent
Contributions this cycle: $94,500
Cash on hand: $18,326
417 PAC
Contributions this cycle: $39,250.00
Cash on hand: $41,140.49

Friends for Brian Gelner
Contributions this cycle: $382,764.23
Cash on hand: $236,997.16
Debts: $0
Cash on hand minus debt: $236,997
Missouri Common Sense PAC
Contributions this cycle: $118,500.00
Cash on hand: $118,476.00

#6 S10 Senator Riddle is term-limited: LEAN CARTER

This race was turned on its ear on its last day when Randy Pietzman exited the race on the final day to get off the ballot. All Rep. Pietzman had to hold his own county and he was the likely winner. Into that breach stepped Wentzville municipal judge Mike Carter while former State Rep Bryan Spencer is also from Wentzville. Mike Carter began spending his money in the best place to invest your early money in the rural republican primary, AM radio. Carter began buying ads to cover all the way from Louisiana to Holts Summit. 

Rep. Travis Fitzwater is one of the brightest minds in the house, would be an excellent senator, and has run a good campaign, but from day one struggled with the geography of the eastern portion being nearly 70% of the district and has struggled to keep to max spending with Carter. 

Rep. Jeff Porter, is also someone who would be an excellent senator, but has a large hill to climb seeing that only 8.7% is from Montgomery county. Carter has been spending and spending smartly, not only for his campaign but has been running ads for his law firm that has built up a big lead that has been hard for his opponents to close that gap. 

Bottom Line: Pietzman leaving the race left an opportunity on the eastern side, and Carter spent the money to take advantage of it, and is leading the race entering the final week. 

Team Mike Carter
Contributions this cycle: $522,480.06
Cash on hand: $55,562.05
Debts: $500,500.00
Cash on hand minus debt: $21,980
Shield PAC
Contributions this cycle: $321,100.00
Cash on hand: $306,100.00

Citizens For Spencer
Contributions this cycle: $139,726.89
Cash on hand: $138,460.08
Debts: $0
Cash on hand minus debt: $138,460.08
Friends For Travis Fitzwater
Contributions this cycle: $126,655.04
Cash on hand: $141,332.02
Debts: $0
Cash on hand minus debt: $141,332.02

Kingdom Leadership PAC
Contributions this cycle: $4,676.13
Cash on hand: $4,011.20
Patrons Of Jeff Porter
Contributions this cycle: $178,811.39
Cash on hand: $42,957.79
Debts: $0
Cash on hand minus debt: $42,957.79

#7 SD12 Senator Hageman is term-limited: LEAN BLACK

The GREAT northwest contest to replace a GREAT senator in Dan Hegeman is going about like you might have suspected. Rep. Rusty Black was up on the airwaves first and with the most and has used his FFA/Ag school connections to build up a lead in the 12th. 

Rep. Eggleston has run a very good race, it’s no small challenge when you’re being outspent and taking on the Axiom organization in northeast Missouri. In spite of those things he has run a very good race, evidenced by his recent endorsement by the several of the local sheriffs. 

Former Rep. Delus Johnson has really struggled out of the box showing that it is pretty hard to get ramped up again once you stop running. His strength will be in the Buchanan, Andrew and Dekalb county area near his home. Most of those are votes that Rep. Eggleston would have had a natural claim to. 

The last poll I saw had  Delus Johnson 8%, Rep. Eggleston 24%, Rusty Black, 43%, and undecided 25%.

Bottom Line: Rusty Black put together the most money, and put together most of the Axion infrastructure in northwest Missouri, got on the airwaves the earliest, that has combined to give him the lead heading into the final week.

Citizens For Eggleston
Contributions this cycle: $141,520.23
Cash on hand: $188,592.00
Debts: $100,000
Cash on hand minus debt: $88,592
Grand River PAC
Contributions this cycle: $7,000.00
Cash on hand: $6,543.00

Friends Of Rusty Black
Contributions this cycle: $174,277.67
Cash on hand: $125,140.78
Debts: $9,224.90
Cash on hand minus debt: $150,942
Great Northwest PAC
Contributions this cycle: $138,050.00
Cash on hand: $13,116.34

Delus Johnson For Missouri
Contributions this cycle: $152,220.00
Cash on hand: $45,109.52
Debts: $55,000.00
Cash on hand minus debt: $-9,891

#8 SD16 Senator Brown is running for re-election: LEAN BROWN

In what was thought to be the tightest incumbent race of the cycle, Senator Brown drew a sitting house member for his reelection challenge in Rep. Suzie Pollock. Rep. Pollock and her husband, Darrell Pollock, current county commissioner and former Rep. have been elected in Laclede County for over 20 years. Laclede County being the largest voting block of the district between percent, she started off with a base of support.

Senator Brown knew he was going to have to run a full on reelection campaign, and he did. He has been doing doors, had volunteers at the doors, and has been flooding the mailbox, radio and the televisions. With The largest media market being Springfield, Rep. Pollock has not been able to come close to keeping up in the largest media market. One telling statistic is that in the last 3 weeks while Pollock raised $648, Bron raised $78,000.

Bottom Line: Rep. Pollock was recruited to give Brown a tough fight and she did. If he did not run a full fledged campaign he would have been beaten, but he did and has the lead heading into the last week. 

Team Justin Brown
Contributions this cycle: $153,464.00
Cash on hand: $75,081.24
JB PAC
Contributions this cycle: $223,221
Cash on hand: $69,428.32

Friends Of Suzie Pollock
Contributions this cycle: $92,146.64
Cash on hand: $38,281.35
Debts: $25,000.00
Cash on hand minus debt: $13,281

While it is very tough to say the exact final numbers, it appears the conservative caucus, if they choose to have an official caucus next session, will grow. However, the Rowden caucus will grow more conservative next session, and depending on exactly who fills those spots with the measure of unknowns, including whether Senator Brattin is in the US Congress next year the majority floor leader race could become very interesting. 

Final Projection:
Rowden Republicans: 16 –  Senate Democrats: 10  – Eigel Republicans: 8