MO Senate race one of highest-profile races in country

MO Senate race one of highest-profile races in country
The Kentucky State Board of Elections has mailed address verification cards to about 600,000 registered voters. (Source: KFVS)

MISSOURI (KFVS) - On November 6, Missourians will go to the polls to vote for new leaders in national, state and local positions. But the race the whole country will be watching is for one of Missouri's two U.S. Senate seats.

With six Republican candidates running, the Missouri elections promise to be exciting as Democrats are battling for control of the Senate. Democrats currently have 47 seats in the Senate and Republicans have the majority, with 51 Senate seats. In order to keep their majority, Republicans can't afford to lose any seats. In 2018, 33 of the Senate's 100 seats are up for grabs.

Voter information:

Before the Nov. 6 general election, Missourians will narrow its candidates down to one per party in the primary election. The Missouri U.S. Senate primary will be on August 7. To vote in primary election, register by July 11, 2018.

The last day to register to vote in the Nov. 6 election is Oct. 10. You can register to vote online, in person or via mail. For a complete list of instructions on registering to vote, visit Missouri’s Secretary of State website.

In order to vote, you must be 18 years old, a citizen of the United States and a resident of Missouri. Missouri requires photo identification to vote. You have to bring a Missouri Driver or non-Driver License, passport or military ID to the polling place.

Who's running:

Democratic:

Incumbent Claire McCaskill, D-Mo, who is from Rolla, is running for a third term. She has held the Senate position for 11 years and is considered one of the most moderate Senators. During her time in office, McCaskill became well-known for these stances:

  • The National Rifle Association gave McCaskill an “F” grade for her position on gun control, according to a press release in 2012. She supports expanded background checks and, after the shooting in Las Vegas, co-sponsored a bill to ban bump stocks.
  • McCaskill has been a loud advocate for survivors of sexual assault, particularly on college campuses and in the military, according to her Senate website. In 2014, she wrote and passed a bill letting sexual assault survivors in the military choose between a military or civilian trial.
  • McCaskill believes employers who knowingly hire undocumented people should be punished, and that DACA “Dreamers” should be protected, according to her Senate website.

Angelica Earl is the only other Democrat who has announced a Senate race. After working for 15 years in healthcare, she’s running to create a universal healthcare system, according to her campaign website.

Other candidates include Carla "Coffee" Wright, from St. Louis; Leonard Joseph Steinman II, from Jefferson City; John Hogan, from St. Louis; Travis Gonzalez, from Maryville; and David Faust, from Raymore.

Republican:

Josh Hawley, who is currently the state’s Attorney General, is McCaskill’s strongest opponent, according to a poll of Missouri voters. Hawley’s campaign says there’s a disconnect between Washington bureaucrats and Missourians. His campaign focuses on lowering unemployment, helping farmers and lowering taxes. In the race, Hawley has the advantages of name recognition and a strong track record as attorney general.

In November 2017, President Trump endorsed Hawley for senator. Hawley's endorsement from Trump may improve his chances in the state, which went red in the 2016 presidential election with 56.4 percent voting for Donald Trump.

You may recognize Austin Petersen’s name from the 2016 presidential election — he was the runner-up in the Libertarian primary election. Petersen is running as a Republican on a “pro-life, pro-liberty and pro-Constitution stand,” he wrote in a Kansas City Star editorial. To sum up his views, he writes: “my vision for America is one where gay married couples can defend their marijuana fields with fully automatic machine guns.”

Republican candidate Tony Monetti is a former Air Force pilot from an Italian immigrant family in  Brooklyn. He is a strong advocate for veterans and if elected, he says he would improve the U.S. military's missile defense and fight for veterans' rights. He's also pro-2nd Amendment and pro-life.

Courtland Sykes made national news after calling feminists “she-devils” in a Facebook post about women’s rights. On his campaign website, Sykes has aligned himself closely with Trump and calls himself the “America First” candidate for Missouri Senate. Roy Moore, who lost his race for an Alabama Senate seat after allegations of molesting underage women, endorsed Sykes in an email to his supporters.

Other candidates include Fred Ryman, from Jefferson City; Christina Smith, from Jefferson City; Bradley Krembs, from St. Charles; Ken Patterson, from Eureka; Brian G. Hagg, from Aurora; and Peter Pfeifer, from Ballwin.

Libertarian:

Japheth Campbell is running under the Libertarian Party. According to his Facebook page, he's an entrepreneur and internet marketing professional from Springfield, Mo.

Green:

Jo Crain, from Kansas City, is running on issues such as ending tax breaks, forgiving all student loan debt, ending "all corporate influence," and providing "living wages for educators." You can click here to visit her campaign Facebook page.

Jerome Bauer, of St. Louis, co-founded the Washington University Cooperative Network in 2003 and has been active with Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment, the Student-Worker Alliance (at Washington University and Webster University), the Peace Economy Project and more.

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