Jackson rep secures second term with no opposition

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- State Rep. Scott Lipke was assured a second term in the House of Representatives when the candidate filing deadline passed Tuesday without him drawing an opponent. Lipke, R-Jackson, was first elected to the 157th District seat in 2002.

State Rep. Lanie Black, R-Charleston, was headed for a bye in his bid for a fourth House term until Democrat Curtis Burch of New Madrid filed on the final day as a candidate in the 161st District.

By the deadline, 187 Democrats, 175 Republicans, 14 Libertarians, and two Greens had launched bids for the House, where all 163 seats are on the ballot this year.

The winners of the Aug. 3 party primaries will advance to the Nov. 2 general elections.

In addition to Lipke's seat, Democrats passed on fielding hopefuls to two other Southeast Missouri House districts, although both will feature contested Republican primaries.

Phil Brinson, Nathan D. Cooper and Eugene "Pete" Frazier, all of Cape Girardeau, are seeking the GOP nomination in the 158th District. Rep. Gayle Kingery of Poplar Bluff is facing a primary challenge from former Poplar Bluff Mayor Reid Forrester in the 154th District.

Only half of the Senate's 34 seats are up for grabs. Those 17 seats are being sought by 29 Democrats, 23 Republicans, five Libertarians and two Greens.

The field in the 27th District was rounded out Monday when Libertarian Chris Morrill of Scott City joined the race.

"Though I am realistic about my expectations in this race, I am hoping to have some fun with it, maybe cause a little trouble, and most importantly, say the things that no one else has the nerve to say," Morrill said.

House Majority Floor Leader Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau, and Donnie Owens, D-Fredericktown, are also seeking the seat. The incumbent, Senate President Pro Tem Peter Kinder, R-Cape Girardeau, is running for lieutenant governor.

Kinder has two primary opponents -- former state Rep. Patricia Secrest of Manchester and Bruce Hillis of Dexter. Bekki Cook of Cape Girardeau, a former secretary of state, and Senate Minority Floor Leader Ken Jacob of Columbia are seeking the Democratic nomination.

Gov. Bob Holden picked up a third Democratic challenger Tuesday in his bid for a second term when Jeffery A. Emrick, a Kansas City-area resident, joined the race. State Auditor Claire McCaskill and Cole County Auditor Jim LePage are also trying to unseat Holden.

Secretary of State Matt Blunt is the chief Republican contender for governor against six little-known candidates seeking the party's nomination.

In the other top-of-the-ticket contest this year, incumbent U.S. Sen. Kit Bond, a Republican, will likely face a November challenge from State Treasurer Nancy Farmer, a Democrat. Both have little-known primary opponents.

Democrat Robin Carnahan of St. Louis, the daughter of a former governor and a former U.S. senator, and House Speaker Catherine Hanaway, R-Warson Woods, are the only major-party candidates for secretary of state.

Attorney General Jay Nixon, a Democrat, will face one of two Republicans in his bid for a fourth four-year term. Vying for the GOP nomination are Chris Byrd of Kansas City and Dewey Crepeau of Columbia.

The open state treasurer's office is being sought by three Democrats, seven Republicans and a Libertarian.

mpowers@semissourian.com

(573) 635-4608

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