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The Missouri Times column

From the #F150CampaignTour here is your updates

Senate Leadership Race Upheaval 
Is there anything with more twists and turns than a senate leadership race?

In the last few days there is a movement afoot to encourage Senator Koenig run for Pro Tem instead of Floor Leader.

It’s just a mathematical fact that it’s easier to run for both jobs instead of just one because when you run for Pro Tem you can dole our chairmanships to flip votes. However, its also likely that Senator Caleb Rowden currently has enough commitments to win Pro Tem, so he would have to pry votes from him. 

It’s likely that both Senator Koenig and Senator Bernskoetter have more than 13 commitments, but both would be foolish to trust that number walking into the room.

Senator O’Laughlin is a big factor here as she has a few votes for Floor Leader and if the cards fell right for Senator Koenig she could walk out as Floor Leader.

It feels to me like as of noon on Monday that Senator Koenig has one more hard commit that he can trust than Senator Bernskoetter if it goes to a second ballot. However, Senator Bernskoetter has a more direct path to get to 13 than Senator Koenig on a second ballot. More than anything its clear that neither has 13 votes they can trust, and a second ballot tied at 12-12 is an absolute possibility.  

If that is the case then you could see Senator O’Laughlin back in the mix, or Senator Crawford, or Senator Luetekemeyer throw their names in as a compromise candidate.  

Then imagine a George Hruza victory tomorrow and you could see some heads explode. 
You think about the experience of brand new Senators Kehoe, Richard, and Wasson in their first caucus meeting when they are drawing straws to pick between Senator Engler and Senator Mayer for Pro Tem. 
Could you see the same for Senators Coleman, Schroer, Black, Brown, and Trent?

Schmitt cruising 
No one would have thought that Eric Schmitt would have cruised to a 20-point victory in the primary, however, it’s looking like he could come near that in the general. Mrs. Busch has run a good race, and kept her commitment to the democratic party by fully funding it, but the truth is that once the republicans didn’t kill their chances by nominating Eric Greitens this race was probably over. The question is how high will Schmitt’s margin get?

Amendment 3 doing well
In a poll conducted for KY3 in Springfield found that among certain voters the results were 61% yes, 28% no, with 11% undecided. Among likely voters, 43% were supportive while 16% leaned no, and 41% were uncertain. 

I’m a believer that you can typically bet on the side with the most money and in this case, that side is the YES side. However, it’s always much easier to get a NO from Missourians than a YES.
I think this will be close on election night and could go either way, but I would rather be on the YES side than the NO side the day before the election.

If NO loses will they regret not working the “pot is bad” message?

McCreery holding her own in SD24
In the only tight senate race democrats are having to go all in with by far their best candidate, Rep. Tracy McCreery to hold off local doctor republican George Hruza in the 24th. Hruza has been unleashing some vicious attacks and has put his own money in to equal the spending gap.

All that said I’d rather be McCreery than Hruza, but if you’re a democrat you have to feel like it shouldn’t be this close. 

The pro-abortion wave predictions are just not materializing 
Back in the summer, there was a swath of predictions that suburban women were going to rebel and create a wave of democratic votes over the banning of Roe vs. Wade. However, as of the day before the election, there is just no evidence of that in Missouri. In fact, if anything there is a bit of a pro-life victory lap bounce in some areas of contested races.

It will be interesting to see where a pro-choice supporter can point to on Wednesday morning to show that the issue affected a key race. If they can muster a decent argument it might change the discussion a bit in Jefferson City. Actually, nah, it won’t.

AG Selection Process Begins 
The Governor’s office has begun visiting with candidates to be the next Attorney General. They intentionally put this off for as long as they could, but it’s clear that they are gonna need to hire a new one and get on it. 

I’d still say the field starts with Andrew Bailey. I still chuckle when I read other outlets report things as BREAKING NEWS that readers of this column or viewers of This Week in Missouri Politics have known for months.

However, if Bailey would rather opt for a black robe and a gavel over a cell phone and a fundraising call list then there are several other names such as former U.S. Attorney Tim Garrison, Cole County Judge Chris Limbaugh, former Senator Kurt SchaeferSenator Tony Luetekemyer, Rep. David Gregory, local attorney Stephanie Bell, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Will Scharf, out there to be considered. 

A couple of other names that has been floated around the second floor are republican rising star Rep. Bill Hardwick and Carrie Almond

Speaking of the Mike Parson employment agency 
There are some folks weighing in encouraging the Governor’s Office to look at Jon Hensley to replace Scott Fitzpatrick as Treasurer. Hensley’s been a lawyer for over 15 years. He was General Counsel to both the Attorney General’s Office and the State Treasurer’s Office and he ran the Treasurer’s Office as Deputy State Treasurer in Dec. ’18 – Jan. ’19 after Schmitt left to become AG but before Fitzpatrick took over. He’s in private practice now and just opened Versa Governmental Strategies with Zach Pollock, so his level of interest in returning to public service is unclear, but he would clearly be qualified.