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Kansas City primary candidates reach out to voters on final day

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – With polls opening in the morning, candidates have less than 24 hours to make their final appeal to voters. For some candidates that means continuing to work on doors and putting out positive messages. In other campaigns, there are only a couple hours left to attack an opponent. Some races have both.

The Eleventh Senate District, Democratic primary

The race in Jackson County has been defined in part by labor. Rep. John Rizzo voted with labor during his time in the House while Jessica Podhola works for the painters’ union as a governmental affairs officer.

Both have earned labor endorsements, calling into question how unions should support legislators who have strong pro-labor records.

Both candidates also say they’re working the doors hard. Rizzo said he knocks doors from 3 p.m. to sundown while Podhola claims to have knocked the district three times.

Rizzo has used a significant war chest to air television ads that focus on his family. Missouri Times polling has shown Rizzo with a 25 point lead, and that was before he was endorsed by Gov. Jay Nixon.

To cut into that lead, Podhola has started to draw contrasts with Rizzo, including lumping him in with an “old boys club” that insists on waiting your turn. In a Facebook post Podhola said:

It seems there is suddenly a new standard for women running for office. We must “wait our turn” and “she needs to run for representative first” and “she hasn’t been in office yet.” Well, none of these men were told to wait their turn.
It is time to change this stigma in Missouri politics to make the leadership represent the people. I am proud to stand for our communities and share the same values as my neighbors.
“You don’t go to learn in the state Senate.” As a union director, minister, and military mother, I can tell you there is no amount of training to adequately prepare you for leadership. You either know how to create change and represent your home, or you fall short of the expectations of those who elected you. This has happened far too often, and I can promise you it won’t happen with me. ‪#‎ReadyforJess‬

She’s also put a comparision on Facebook that calls into questions Rizzo’s ethics and his family.

Podhola Facebook photo
Podhola Facebook photo


14th House District, Republican primary

The primary in the 14th district has come down to incumbent Rep. Kevin Corlew’s vote on right-to-work. Corlew voted against the legislation last year and his opponent, Sean Pouche has attacked him over the issue, especially over the last week when he’s sent out mailers and emails. These mailers have attached Corlew to Democrats Hillary Clinton and Gov. Jay Nixon.

Pouche has also touted endorsements from former state Reps. Susan Phillips and Ron Schieber.

Corlew has focused on door knocking and meeting with constituents. He’s also been critical of Pouche’s acceptance of $25,000 from the Humphreys to attack Corlew on right-to-work.

“Although my record and values have been attacked and misrepresented by my opponent, his outside mega-donors, and wealthy special interest groups, I have continued to receive good responses from our district residents as I’ve gone door-to-door to visit with them. They believe that I best represent our conservative, middle-class values and will continue to put the interests of our Northland communities above the wealthy special interests in order to promote job growth, educational opportunity, and public safety.”

Corlew said he’d be knocking doors today leading up to the election.


17th House District, Republican primary

While right-to-work has been a primary issue in this Clay County primary, the candidates have also engaged each other on other issues.

The incumbent, Rep. Nick King, has been a strong marijuana opponent in the House and attacked his opponent Mary Hill, a registered nurse, over her support of medical marijuana and support marijuana advocates have given to her campaign.

While Hill received a $50,000 contribution from the Humphreys family, she’s been critical of his campaign contributions, saying he’s been bought by union leaders.

In the last week, King has touted endorsements from Missouri Right to Life PAC and the NRA. He also released an online video ad for his campaign.