Saturday, March 28, 2009

2010 Senate Races in Missouri and Illinois

The 2010 U.S. Senate elections in Missouri and Illinois should prove to be very interesting. In Missouri Democrat Robin Carnahan (currently Secretary of State) has announced that she is running and will likely have no challenger in the primary. Republican Roy Blunt (currently serving in the U.S. House of Representatives from the 7th district) has announced that he is running as well. If these two face off it will be a showdown of two political dynasties in the state. Sarah Steelman, the Republican former State Treasurer who lost the 2008 primary for Governor, is also seriously considering entering the race. Much of the Republican establishment would prefer to avoid an ugly primary, as was the case when Ms. Steelman for Governor last year. However this plays out, it will be a very competitive race for an open seat in a swing state and will be very well funded on both sides.

The Illinois Senate race has not taken as much shape yet, but certainly looks like it will be a bit of a circuis. Current Senator Roland Burris has been the center of much controversy and will certainly have a Democratic primary opponent should he chose to run for reelection. Alexi Giannoulias, the state treasurer, announced this month that he was forming an exploratory committee to explore running for the Senate seat. Also, it looks like the GOP will target the seat in the 2010 election, as long as the NRSC has a candidate they like. Who would you like to see run for the U.S. Senate in Illinois in 2010?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Early Votiong in Missouri

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch published an editorial this week ("Missouri's Late Coming to Early Voting") that I agreed with. I believe it is the duty of every citizen in a democracy to participate in government and voting is the easiest way to do that. Efforts to improve voter turnout (and voter registration and education) are important, and early voting would be beneficial to democracy in Missouri. This past election I was out of town on election day and voted absentee for the first time. It was a great experience because I could take my time and research each race I was unfamiliar with as I filled out my ballot, something that most people will not do when they vote at the polls.

I would encourage everyone in Missouri to read the editorial and to support the proposed legislation.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Missouri House Races in 2010

With roughly a third of the Missouri House of Representatives term limited in 2010, there will be a striking number of open seats. Candidate filing for these races doesn't start until February 23, 2010 and the filing deadline is about a year away (March 30, 2010) so there is still ample time for these races to take shape and for potential candidates to ponder their entry. The Arch City Chronicle has a short post on the 2010 House races as well that is worth a quick look. Has anyone heard who is running for the Missouri state House of Representatives, or of anyone considering running (if so, please email me or comment below)?

House Districts 1, 5, 6, 10, 14, 19, 21, 22, 27, 28, 30, 31, 35, 40, 46, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 62, 66, 69, 76, 77, 79, 80, 84, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 110, 111, 113, 114, 116, 119, 126, 128, 129, 130, 131, 134, 140, 141, 143, 145, 152, 153, 154, 155, 157 will all be open seats due to term limits.

Updated (6-21-09)

The first House district has one person with a campaign finance committee: Keri Cottrell (D).

The 2nd district also has only one person with a campaign finance committee, but this is not an open seat. Rebecca McClanahan (D) is running for reelection in the Kirksville area.

In the 10th district Linda Witte is running to replace her husband, Rep. Terry Witte (D), who is term limited in 2010. She has already announced her candidacy and started a Facebook group.

House district 14th has one person with a campaign committee, Kathie Conway (R).

The 17th is not an open seat but will be a competitive race - round three. Rep. Kenny Biermann (D) will face off against former state representative Vicki Schneider (R). Schneider and Biermann faced off in 2006 and 2008. Schneider won in 2006 by 295 votes out of over 15,000. In 2008 Biermann unseated Schneider, winning by 73 votes out of over 20,000. Biermann is the only Democratic state representative in St. Charles. The domain name for Biermann's website expired in early June 2009. Schneider has a website as well, but it does not look like it has been updated lately.

The 19th will be an open seat as Rep. Cynthia Davis is term limited in 2010. The 19th has three people who have registered with the MEC. David Evans (R), Kurt Bahr (R), and Matt Simmons (D) look to be in the hunt for this open seat.

Kelly Schultz (D) has filed a finance committee for a run at the open seat in the 21st House district.

Mik Chester (R) has set up a committee for a run at the 28th. FiredUp Missouri has a post on Mik Chester's run to replace Rep. Schaaf.

Jay Swearingen (D) has a website, a blog, a Facebook page, and an ActBlue page set up for his run for the 31st district.

HD35 district is one in which the incumbent, Rep. Doug Ervin (R) is term limited and Jim Baldwin (D) will be running for the seat. Baldwin ran in 2008 and lost to Ervin, but this time will not face an incumbent. Baldwin has a website and Facebook group.

The 40th has a couple of people vying for the open seat. Will Royster (D) has filed with the MEC for the seat and JJ Rizzo (D), who ran for the seat in 2008, is expected to run again.

I hear word that Kevin McManus is looking at running for the 46th district. This ActBlue page would seem to support that.

The 63rd is not an open seat, but a challenger, Joe Tyler, has created a Facebook page. The incumbent is a freshman in the House, Rep. Tishaura Jones, whose website from the 2008 campaign is still up and running.

The Arch City Chronicle reports on the 76th: "St. Louis County state representative Michael Spreng is termed in 2010. His wife, Churie Spreng, has filed a campaign committee to run for his seat." The Sprengs are Democrats.

The 79th is another one of the open seats in the next election and Steven Sieber (D), Mary Nichols (D), and Byron DeLear (D) are running. Sieber has a well designed website, where you can show your support by buying "a campaign polo shirt." Nichols and Sieber have both established committees with the MEC. DeLear ran for Congress in California in 2006 and for Congress in MO's 2nd district in 2008 (lost in the Democratic primary).

The incumbent in the 83rd, Rep. Jake Zimmerman was considering a run for a state Senate seat that will be open due to term limits (Sen. Joan Bray is term limited in 2010). Joel Jennings (D) considered running for the 83rd, and started a Facebook group and an ActBlue page. This is noted on that group, though:

Joel is committed to running for the 83rd House District. Should the incumbent Representative, Jake Zimmerman, decide to run for re-election, Joel will postpone his run until Jake vacates the seat.

Update: Rep. Zimmerman decided not to run for state Senate, so Jennings will wait till the seat is open before running for the 83rd (announced 6-19-09 on his Facebook group).

The 84th district will likely see Gina Loudon run for the Republican nomination in this Republican leaning district. She lost the Republican primary in 2008 for the state Senate seat her husband, former Sen. John Loudon, was vacating due to term limits. Also see the Arch City Chronicle. Don Gosen (R) has filed a committee with the MEC for this seat. Kevin Schulte is also running for the 84th. From his website I assume he is running as a Republican and does not plan to file an MEC report (plans on spending less than $500 on the race).

In the 96th the South County Times reports that Scott Sifton (D) is running for the seat. Also, the Arch City Chronicle notes:

Scott Sifton, running to replace termed legislator Rep. Pat Yaeger, reportedly had a strong fundraiser last week. He’s a lawyer with Husch Blackwell Sanders and has served on his local school board for several years.

House District 110 has Jim Polite (R) of Potosi running for the seat. He has filed with the MEC for the race. Thanks to JB for the tip.

In the 114th Cole County Western District Commissioner Chris Wrigley (R) has announced that he is running.

HD130 has Lynn Otey (R) is running for the open seat. The Neosho Daily News gives this brief bio of her:

An educator for 25 years Otey has served in a leadership capacity on numersous boards and civic groups. A current member of the Neosho R-5 School Board, Otey is also serving her second term as President of the Republican Women of Newton County, is a past president and current secretary / treasurer of the Neosho Exchange Club and has been named that civic groups Exchangite of the Year and for more than 10 years has volunteered with the Food Basket Brigade.

Thanks to Kyle Hill for the tip.

The 137th is not an open seat, but looks like it may be of interest. Charlie Norr (D) is the incumbent but it looks like he will have opposition in 2010 for this seat in the Springfield area. Charity Davis (R) filed and already terminated a campaign finance committee for the seat in 2010. Melissa (Lisa) Leach (R) has formed an exploratory committee for the 137th.

In the 141st Nixa Alderman Kevin Elmer (R) will be a candidate. KY3 has a nice piece on his entry into the 141st race (instead of the 7th district for the U.S. Congress).

Tracy Mooney has announced that she will be running as a Republican for the 143rd district House seat that will be open in 2010, and has a blog up and running, as well as a finance committee. Mooney ran against the incumbent in the Republican primary in 2008 and lost, and will be running for the seat again in 2010 (easier with no incumbent).

The 152nd District is a Democratic leaning district in southeast Missouri and word is that Don Barzowski (D) is considering running for the seat. Barzowski is currently an Alderman in Ironton and a social studies teacher extraordinaire at Arcadia Valley High School. Eric "Rick" Mansfield (R) has filed a campaign committee. He ran in 2008 and was unsuccessful, and is running again in 2010 with no incumbent. Two Democrats have also filed campaign finance committees: Shane Van Steenis, who appears to run a canoe rental operation in Eminence, MO, and Logan Merrill of Potosi, MO.

Related post: 2010 Missouri State Senate Candidates

A Word of Welcome

Welcome to my new blog, hopefully a home for political discourse. The (civil and intelligent) discussion of politics is remarkably engaging and entertaining, at least in my opinion. I find a good question or discussion (in the search of an answer) to be a lot of fun, so I may focus less on the answer and more on the question or search for the answer.

I welcome your comments and suggestions, particularly suggestions for a name for the blog here at its inception.