- We started the day in Cole County in downtown Jefferson City visiting with Senator Mike Bernskoetter who is having a spirited challenge from Scott Reidel from Camden County while he was putting up signs in on Capitol Avenue
- A few takeaways from the conversation with the always talkative Senator Bernskoetter: “We are running a full out campaign radio, mail, signs, all of it.”
- Is he surprised by how spirited the race has become? “No. If I was behind I would be running an as you say “spirited” race too.”
- Does he believe that his fellow senate republican colleagues are backing his opponent? “My colleagues no, a small group of self interested politicians who would rather obstruct the Senate than pass conservative policy, yeah, I think they are pulling some strings behind the scenes to try and ensure they have the ability to keep up the chaos next year.”
- How does he see the race right now? “We are gonna work right up until Tuesday but I feel good about it.”
- We stopped in at Bones for lunch, and sat at the bar for a really good prime rib sandwich. There we visited with Gary who is a plummer. His take on the race was: “Look, my wife works for DNR. It actually matters to our family more who is our state senator than our US Senator. I think Bernskoetter has done a good job for us, and we need someone who will take running the budget seriously.”
From there we went to Phelps County where we visited with Senator Justin Brown. Here are a few takeaways from our conversation while he knocked doors.
- “I knew this would be a real race, and I’ve been out on the doors especially in the new parts of the district.”
- On the new parts of the district. “I’ve really focused on getting to Wright and Laclede Counties and visiting with people. Senator Eslinger and Rep. Kelly have been very very helpful in meeting people in Wright County but to be honest I’ve been all over both counties before doing business and various things so those roads and farms are by no means new to me.”
- On his fundraising. “I have worked hard the last four years producing wins for the folks in my district so yes I’m proud that folks like the Farm Bureau and the NRA and the business groups have been so supportive of my campaign. That is something I’m honored by.”
- How he sees the race ending up. “You know it’s been a real race, we have went all out, but you know I kinda felt a turn in the race a couple weeks ago when folks started paying attention. Just after the 4th I felt like the race really started moving in our direction. We are gonna run through the finish line, but we’re running confidently.”
- We stopped in at the Tater Patch while we were in town, and while we were there we sat at the table with the Gregory family from Waynesville. They bought Gussie not one but two pieces of chocolate lava cake which we would see again upchucked on the side of the road outside Sedalia.
- Their take on the race came from the father: “Look I’ve heard of the Pollock name and the Brown name. I just don’t see any reason to not vote for Justin. To be honest, farming is a serious thing to our family. It’s how we make a living. I’m all for someone voting for social things, but if you aint serious about ag issues then I ain’t gonna be able to put food on the table and that other stuff ain’t gonna matter much to this family.”
From Rolla we drove over to Lee’s Summit to a joint Hartzler/Hawley event at a christian school.
- There were over 200 people in the gym at Summit Christian Academy, and in my hillbillyopinion all 200 we’re gonna vote before lunch on election day.
- Hawley gives a great speech and did an excellent job making the case for Congresswoman Hartzler.
- They did a media avail after. Of course she was asked about Trump’s comments. Hawley stepped in and brushed it off.
- She was clearly in her element and had great enthusiasm. Shestayed shaking hands and taking pics with people down to the last dozen people.
- Her staff was there in full force and they seems excited about the Heartland Tour.
- Earlier that day a poll came out where she had moved up and the undecided number had stayed static.
- She wasn’t the last person as Senator Brattin, his wife and daughter were there and he wasliterally the last person to leave there stumping for votes. That is his church and I think it would qualify as a mega church.
- He looks like a candidate who is running like the wind is at his back.
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.