Senator Roy Blunt
Blunt’s campaign is doing the things that incumbent senators do to win re-election. He is traveling to all parts of out-state Missouri in the off year and has done a good job of keeping an unpopular President Obama in the news and protecting his right flank from a primary challenge. Up until now he has even been able to keep Missouri off the lists of top 10 senate races in the country.
Raised in 2nd quarter: $1.3 million
Cash on Hand: $3.8 million
Campaign Manager: Andy Blunt
Secretary of State Jason Kander
If Jason Kander isn’t elected to the United States Senate it wont be because his messaging team didn’t work every angle. The Kander team, combined with a spirited effort from the Missouri Democrat Party, is on message and on attack literally every day. He has the resume to make this a race. It’s going to be interesting to see if he can put it together at a relatively young age and knock off an incumbent.
Raised in 2nd quarter: $734k
Cash on Hand: $1.1 million
Campaign Manager: Abe Rakov
Businessman John Brunner
It looks like he is in. He will make some waves, there is no doubt. He has a similar military pedigree with Greitens, but Brunner has a record of business accomplishments that is more impressive than anyone running. One advantage he may have is that he has run for statewide office before, so he knows what to expect. He had a very impressive fundraising quarter, but he spent a great deal of the money he raised. Brunner also has Barklage and Knodell, who for the first time anyone can remember, won’t be with Peter Kinder, but will put that research Brunner has done to good use. His entry will make 2016 the most exciting Republican gubernatorial primary since, well, since the year that to Missouri Republicans shalt not be mentioned…1992.
Raised in 2nd quarter: $471k
Cash on Hand: $277k
Consultant: Barklage & Knodell
Former Navy Seal Eric Greitens
He is raising a very impressive amount of money and fast. Greitens has launched a listening tour in preparation of a formal announcement. He has the resume and the public relations skills to be a superstar. However, everything isn’t perfect in the Greitens camp. He released a letter to foxnews.com on why changed parties to become a Republican, and he will be the only major candidate to have never run for office. It probably makes for a good talking point, but few first-time candidates are successful. Regardless, he is the candidate that everyone is talking about this summer.
Raised in 2nd quarter: $791k
Cash on Hand: $1.1 million
Consultant: Victory Enterprises
Former House Speaker Catherine Hanaway
There were more than a few who thought Hanaway’s campaign was over after the events of earlier this year, but she seems to have pushed through and now put up and impressive fundraising quarter. Her relationship with Axiom makes all the difference in what is now a five-way primary. Statistically, now there is no reason she can’t win. One thing that the Missouri political world learned in 2015 is that you can’t count Catherine Hanaway out.
Raised in 2nd quarter: $361k
Cash on Hand: $1.5 million
Consultant: Axiom Strategies
Lt. Governor Peter Kinder
Kinder’s announcement that he is in likely makes him the frontrunner. He starts with little money, but he probably needs less money than the rest of the field to win, thanks to his impressive name ID. The bigger statement will be that he paid off his debt, and is now $60k to the good. It’s quite an accomplishment. He is saying he will run a clean campaign and he likely will, but his opponents will certainly attack some of his past issues if he maintains as the front runner. There is something that feels different in “16 than in “08 or “12 that makes most people confident that he is in the race to stay.
Cash on Hand: $59k
Senator Mike Parson
Parson had a impressive fundraising quarter and has been burning up the highways through Missouri. The former Sheriff of Polk County has been tapping his statewide network of contacts from leading the successful Right to Farm campaign in 2014, and the only officially announced candidate from Republican primary vote-rich southwest Missouri. His addition of the J. Harris Company has focused his efforts, and he seems in the race to stay.
Cash on Hand: $725k
Consultant: J. Harris Company
Others potential candidates: State Senator Bob Dixon could make it — his committee was quietly changed to accomodate a statewide run — an even half a dozen Republicans if the senator from Springfield joins Senator Parson as a second candidate from southwest Missouri.
Attorney General Chris Koster
While the Republicans spent the first half of 2015 building half a softball team of candidates, Koster spent the last few months clearing his field. Now with Right-to-Work reminding labor how important winning is, he seems to have the wind at his back. He may even be lucky enough to have voters in St. Charles and Jefferson counties voting on a Right-to-Work measure. It’s likely to take a good Republican year to beat him. Oh, and he’s got the money for the long haul. Currently, all other Republican candidates combined still couldn’t touch Koster’s nearly $4 million war chest.
Cash on Hand: $3.9 million
While she only raised $28,000, she had the best quarter of any statewide candidate when incumbent Lt. Governor Peter Kinder announced his campaign for governor. Randles has been making the rounds of state Republican circles and the fact that no one has jumped in after Kinder’s announcement is telling. She is the former chair of the Missouri Club for Growth and an attorney from Kansas City. Perhaps more politically important is the fact that she has raised $1,000,000 in the largest political contribution in state history from Rex Sinquefield.
Cash on Hand: $902k
Consultant: Turning Point Public Affairs
Senator Mike Kehoe
He is reportedly telling people that he isn’t running for statewide office and is going to return to senate leadership, but until he formally announces, he has to remain in the conversation because of how strong of a candidate he could be. The fact that the treasurer of his campaign is former Farm Bureau legend Charles Kruse, who is from Stoddard County, heightens the chatter.
Cash on Hand: $59k
Dr. Brad Bradshaw
He was the first Democrat who announced in what is now an open lt. governor’s seat. Bradshaw has made a significant financial commitment to the race, and being both a doctor and lawyer is far from the world’s worst talking point. One thing Bradshaw will be is quotable, and not afraid to speak his mind.
Raised in 2nd quarter: $127k
Cash on Hand: $407k
Businessman Barry Aycock
He could be the perfect Democratic statewide candidate. Aycock is an agribusiness man from rural Missouri with the potential to self-fund the race. Being from the bootheel, he would add some geographic balance to the increasingly Kansas City and St. Louis-centric Democratic party. His rural roots, coupled with his ability to self-finance make him an ideal Democratic recruit. Seeing as he is a farmer, look for a decision on the race to come sometime in the fall after the harvest.
Senator Jason Holsman
Senator Holsman may be the best Democratic candidate to run for Lt. Governor, if he should leap into the race. His liberal base and Kansas City urban home turf would make him unbeatable in a primary, and some feel that his more liberal political leanings would serve well to balance the top of the state ticket ideologically next to the more centrist Koster. Holsman may not be in it yet, but the young Democrat is reportedly eager to run statewide.
Raised in 2nd quarter: $0
Cash on Hand: $103k
Representative Tommie Pierson
Rep. Pierson recently announced and is working to make “the Ferguson issue” a centerpiece of his camapign. He is a serious candidate, a pastor with deep roots in parts of North St. Louis County that no other Democrat can touch. Pierson is candid and optimistic, he’s in it to win. Missouri has never elected a black man or woman to statewide office before, something Pierson is keenly aware of, and determined to change.
Raised in 2nd quarter: $1k
Cash on Hand: $10k
Senator Kurt Schaefer
Schaefer is doing what he needs to do to win. He is the only announced Republican candidate and is putting together a top flight campaign. He has Yancy Williams running the day-to-day and Schaefer has prosecutorial experience and another year as budget chairman to raise money. The Republicans seem to be figuring out their statewide problem of losing money and good candidates in primaries. This will be a good test of that for the party.
Raised in 2nd quarter: $94k
Cash on Hand: $1.3 million
Consultant: Barklage & Knodell
College Law Professor Josh Hawley
He has been billed himself “Hobby Lobby lawyer” and is a professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Hawley has been traveling the state on behalf of the Missouri Liberty Project – a non-profit group speaking to Republican groups stirring buzz about a possible candidacy. If he decides not to run against Kurt Schaefer in a Republican primary, he will be a top recruit to run in Boone County if Caleb Jones or Caleb Rowden do not run for state senate.
Senator Scott Sifton
Sifton burst onto the statewide scene in the final week of the last legislative session as he tied the state senate in knots after the Republican majority moved the previous question on a right to work bill. Sifton was elected with significant trial attorney support and has proven to be very effective. In fact, Sifton has become such a vital part of the tiny Democratic minority in the upper chamber than many of his colleagues have expressed legitimate despair that he is leaving so suddenly. Sifton is still giving every impression he will be running and running for attorney general in 2016.
Raised in 2nd quarter: $65k
Cash on Hand: $488k
Consultant: Show-Me Victories
St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman
This is the day the Zimmerman campaign knew they would shine, and they have. Zimmerman led every candidate in the race in fundraising, and put a good margin between himself and Senator Sifton. He will likely need more money than Sifton to win a primary, and there will be pressure on him to continue to maintain a financial advantage. This will be the marquee primary on the Democratic side provided neither makes a deal to run unopposed in the primary for Secretary of State.
Raised in 2nd quarter: $196k
Cash on Hand: $921k
Consultant: Jim Ross
State Senator Eric Schmitt
Schmitt not only has the most money on hand of anyone in the state treasurer’s race, but he has more cash on hand than anyone in the state Republican party. Coupled with Schmitt’s recent media blitz as the champion of Missouri’s municipal court reform bill, and you’ve suddenly got one of the most comfortable leads of any statewide candidate. He is clearly using it to run a gubernatorial quality campaign for state treasurer, and many are seeing it as a dry run for a future run for the top job in the state.
Raised in 2nd quarter: $150k
Cash on Hand: $1.7 million
Consultant: Axiom Strategies, Barklage & Knodell
Former State Department Official Pat Contreras
A fresh newcomer on the Missouri political scene, he has an impressive resume and is coalescing several endorsements in his race. Contreras brings youth and energy to an often-overlooked race, and his spirited fundraising number will intrigue many in the Democratic Party. It looks like while the Democrats are still searching for a secretary of state candidate, they have found their candidate for state treasurer in Contreras.
Raised in 2nd quarter: $55k
Cash on Hand: $65k
Consultant: 3D Political
SECRETARY OF STATE
Jay is the son of former Missouri Governor, Senator, and United States Attorney General John Ashcroft and inherits the golden name ID that comes with it. He has run for office once in northwestern St. Louis County, and is making the rounds. His fundraising is likely to lag behind Kraus’ for sometime, but Ashcroft will need less money to run than his opponent. If no one else enters the lt. governor’s race, both he and Kraus will be feeling pressure to switch races. Ashcroft may have he upper hand in such a discussion on tactical grounds.
Raised in 2nd quarter: $53k
Cash on Hand: $60k
Consultant: Victory Enterprises
State Senator Will Kraus
Kraus’ war record, which he is deftly using, is very valuable in Republican primaries and builds a great resume, and his position in the senate has helped him build a war chest of over a half a million dollars. Added to the fact that Kraus has spent years fighting for the Republican gold-standard issue for SOS candidates — Voter ID — and Kraus is a very tough candidate to beat. Even if he is unsuccessful, he will still serve two more years in the senate as a senior member and chairman, which many people view as more influential than being secretary of state anyway. He has Axiom on his campaign and a base in Jackson County to draw from while he travels the state this summer. As with Ashcroft, Kraus will be feeling the pressure from some parts of the party to run for lt. governor if no other legislators jump in that race.
Raised in 2nd quarter: $62k
Cash on Hand: $505k
Consultant: Axiom Strategies
There are no serious democrats actively campaigning for the office.
STATE AUDITOR (election in 2018)
State Auditor Nicole Galloway
She was just appointed and has been spending her time in the official office over raising money, but she does have the attention of some prominent Democratic donors as evidenced by Barry Aycock’s donation to her. She is the fresh face in state politics and 2018 will be an interesting year as her race unfolds.
Raised in 2nd quarter: $15k
Cash on Hand: $7k
Rep. Caleb Jones. No one in state politics has more choices to make in the next few months than Rep. Jones. Several people have encouraged him to look at the lt. governor’s race with Kinder opening the seat. Others believe he is the best candidate to hold the Boone County state senate seat that Senator Schaeffer is vacating. If he does it will be the top senate race in the state. However, he could always stay in the house to complete his service until term limits, serving as a chairman and waiting for his congressional seat to open up. It will be interesting watching the talented young Jones make his decision.
Cash on Hand: $185,913.55
Former Senator Victor Callahan. You have to wonder how long the Democratic Party’s sleeping giant will stay off the ballot. He has access to more money than most anyone in the party, and if he announced for an office he would likely double his already sizeable haul in a week, not to mention many, many well-placed friends willing to walk through a wall for him. As the quarters go by, it seems more likely he will not be on the ballot next year, but smart money is he will be the next presidential cycle.
Cash on Hand: $542,077.92
Senator Tom Dempsey. He will leave state government in 2016 as a four-year pro tem of the senate and possibly as the most respected legislator of the term limits era. If you want a real challenge, try to find someone in the state capitol that doesn’t respect Dempsey. There is a great deal of speculation about GOP heavyweights wanting him to consider a congressional run if Congressman Luetkemeyer seeks another office, and there is always the temptation to look to replace Steve Ehlmann as St. Charles County Executive, but if he chose to run statewide, he would be a top shelf candidate, with an issue profile and haircut straight out of Central Casting. Some wonder if being lt. governor would interest Senator Dempsey, and he says he will make his plans known at the end of the summer.
Cash on Hand: $196,072.16
Rep. Lincoln Hough. We will probably have moved him off the list by the next quarter, but if someone on the current roster of statewide Republicans falter, Rep. Hough is at the top of a deep bench. He likely has little interest, and may find a future congressional race a better prospect, but he is young, has a great rural resume, and – let’s be honest – can raise money…lots of money. Add in his ability to speak well off-the-cuff, being from Southwest Missouri he would be a strong candidate and, while the list of loyal allies may not be as long as some others, the ones on that list are very, very loyal.
Cash on Hand: $118,842.32
Former Rep. Judy Baker. She is still an ambitious, well-liked Democrat, who is a good campaigner. She may want to run a race on her own terms and in 2016, there may be a full slate of candidates already, but plenty of Democrats would love more women to run in high-profile races, and running in a primary with two men might give her a distinct advantage. She shined earlier this week in testifying before the Certificate of Need Committee at the capitol, and many felt that she still had a passion for public service.
Cash on Hand: N/A
Director of the Department of Labor Ryan McKenna. He has looked at statewide office before. He can raise money, and no one is closer to organized labor. This is probably a question of whether he wants to leave his new job and the answer is likely no, but if that answer changed to yes, no Democrat could count on labor supporting anyone but him, and would likely be in trouble. Being from the pivotal Jefferson County would also be an asset to statewide Democrats looking to shore up credentials as a party with plenty of moderates.
Cash on Hand: $9,634.78
Those who have said they are out of the running:
Senator John Lamping, former Rep. John Wright, Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney Jean Peters Baker, Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders, St. Louis City Treasurer Tishaura Jones, former Speaker of the House Tim Jones, Senator Doug Libla, Senator Gary Romine, Speaker of the House Todd Richardson.