In less than 40 days Missourians will go to the polls to cast ballots in the state's primary election.
In Cape Girardeau County, the major race in the primary is for county clerk. Jackson Mayor Paul W. Sander and Kara Clark of Cape Girardeau are battling it out.
Proposition 1 will ask county voters to increase the sales tax by a half-cent. The proceeds would be used to enhance the county's paving program and expand the sheriff's department.
The only other contested county race in the primary is for presiding commissioner. Incumbent Gerald W. Jones of Jackson is being challenged in the Republican primary by Tom "Thos" Farrow of Jackson.
Nobody has primary opposition in the area's state representative districts or in the Circuit 32, Division 2, race for circuit judge.
Incumbent U.S. Sen. Jim Talent has five opponents in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate: Isaiah Hair of St. Louis, Joyce P. Lea of Kansas City, Roxie L. Fausnaught of Granby and Scott Babbitt of St. Joseph. On the Democratic side, State Auditor Claire McCaskill of St. Louis and Bill Clinton Young of Kansas City are the only candidates. The Libertarian candidate is Frank Gilmour of Manchester.
The Republican primary for state auditor offers a host of comparatively high-profile candidates: State Rep. Jack Jackson of Wildwood, state Sen. Mark Wright of Springfield, Al Hanson of Concordia, Platte County Auditor Sandra Thomas of Kansas City and state Sen. John W. Loudon of Chesterfield are fighting to emerge from the Republican primary for state auditor. Hanson, who runs a prison ministry, is a felon who won the 2002 Republican primary but was disavowed by the party.
The Democratic candidates are Susan Montee and Darrell Wattenbarger. The Libertarian candidate is Charles W. Baum of University City.
In the 8th District, U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson has no challenger in the Republican primary. Veronica J. Hambacker of Salem and Gene Curtis of Matthews are the Democratic challengers. Branden C. McCullough of Cape Girardeau is the Libertarian candidate.
Absentee voting for the primary began Tuesday. To vote absentee, you must provide a reason for not being in the jurisdiction on election day. July 12 is the last day to register to vote. If you are registered to vote, a change of address can be filed up to and on election day.