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Texts from the Trail: Presidential politics dividing Missouri politicos into different camps


Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 8.11.26 AMthe sides began to align in Missouri in the presidential race.

House Speaker Todd Richardson, who is leading the Marco Rubio effort, was joined by Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard and Congressman Jason Smith, in rolling out several dozen state legislators joining him in endorsing the Florida senator for president. The Speaker told Mark Reardon with KMOX that he attributed it to the senator’s message. Most see it as a sign of the new Speaker’s political clout.

Missouri is well represented in the race with Jeff Roe leading the Ted Cruz effort nationally and in Missouri by Rep. Eric Burlison, former legislators Jim Lembke and Carl Bearden, and the head of the Missouri Alliance for Freedom’s Ryan Johnson.

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 11.30.17 AMMeanwhile, the Bush effort in Missouri is supported by Congresswoman Ann Wagner. Donald Trump, the current leader in the polls, doesn’t currently have anyone leading his campaign in the state. However, up to this point he hasn’t seemed to need a great deal of organization, as he has relied on liberal news outlets attacking him and then hammering their coverage of him to maintain his lead in the polls, which is reminiscent of this classic move George H.W. Bush pulled on Dan Rather.

On the Democratic side, powerful St. Louis democrat Joyce Aboussie seems to have the entire Democratic establishment locked down for Hillary Clinton. However, former Missouri politico Lis Smith is working for Martin O’Malley. The Clinton campaign announced that Gov. Jay Nixon would be leading the campaign team in addition to a long list of Democratic legislative allies.

There was a wrinkle in one of the most hotly contested state senate races as Rep. Mark Parkinson ended his campaign in a flurry of attacks on Rep. Anne Zerr, saying he felt a two person race favored Bill Eigel, whereas a three-way race would favor Zerr. A new candidate, Michael Carter, began informing people he would be running and that his announcement would coincide with the publication of his new book. Look for Carter, a Wentzville judge, to run heavily on banning red light cameras.

The gubernatorial race was engulfed this week by the Syrian refugee issue. Governor Nixon loosely stuck to the Obama administration’s policy, and that opened the floodgates of opposition from the Republican candidates. Lt. Governor Peter Kinder came straight out of the box demanding an end to the resettlement, joined by similar calls from John Brunner, Catherine Hanaway, and Eric Greitens.

Beyond press releases and social media, Republican gubernatorial candidates spent much of the week in Nevada, where they made appearances at the Republican Governor Association conference. Their almost unanimous appearances may garner more national support from those who hope to see a Republican in the Governor’s office.

Chris Koster showed again why he will be a tough candidate to beat when he also called for a pause in accepting refugees until the process can be formally reviewed before spending part of the weekend in the bootheel in part discussing the Right to Farm initiative he supported – all while TV ads were still running “attacking” him for suing the Obama administration over the latest left wing energy scheme. He is also adding a very well liked person to his official staff in Ginger Steinmetz who is likely to be valuable on a whole host of issues.

He also led the week in fundraising bringing in $35,000 in contributions over $5,000, followed by John Brunner raising over $11,000 and Peter Kinder bringing in one over $5,000 contribution.

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 8.00.48 AMHowever, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay maintained his steadfast support of the refugee resettlement, and it was the lead topic discussed on This Week in Missouri Politics.

In the lt. governor’s race Rep. Tommie Pierson has really stepped up his campaign in recent weeks with the help of veteran St. Louis politico Martin Casas.

The more facts that come to light, the less potency the Westlake Landfill seems to have. While it’s clear there is a problem, it seems like each week, there are more facts revealed that add more perspective and less hyperbole to the issue.

$5,000+ Donations: November 15-22

Paul Fitzwater      CHIPP Political Account St. Louis, MO $5,001

Peter Kinder         Paul Thompson Aledo, TX $5,001

Chris Koster          UFCW Local Two Kansas City, MO $10,000

Progress KC PAC  Stinson Leonard Kansas City, MO $7,500

Chris Koster          MO State Council of Machinist St. Charles, MO $25,000

John Brunner       Ross Auburn Springfield, MO $5,001

John Brunner       Jerry Summers Aurora, MO $6,500

Eric Greitens        Carter Gaffen Venice, CA $5,001

Todd Richardson Pyramid Health Cape Girardeau, MO $10,000

Eric Greitens        Charles Schellhorn Shawneed Mission, KS $5,001

Eric Greitens        Gordon Sondland Portland, OR $5,001

If you have some information from the trail we can share, text Rachael Herndon at 573-230-3805.