Republican rout hits all levels of Missouri politics

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- A national wave of Republican sentiment flooded Missouri on Election Day, sweeping many incumbent Democrats out of office with it.

The GOP retained control of the U.S. Senate seat held by retiring Sen. Kit Bond when Congressman Roy Blunt beat Secretary of State Robin Carnahan by more than a quarter million votes.

Some of the leading politicians that succumbed to the tide include 34-year veteran U.S. Congressman Ike Skelton and Missouri State Auditor Susan Montee. This trend trickled down to the Missouri Legislature, as well. Republicans achieved a veto-proof majority in the Senate and fell three seats short of repeating the achievement in the House as they secured more than 100 seats in that body for the first time in history.

Former State Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Harrisonville, will assume control of the Fourth Congressional District held for so long by Skelton, former U.S. Ambassador Tom Schweich will replace Montee as state auditor.

Incumbent Democratic state senators Wes Shoemyer of Clarence and Frank Barnitz from Lake Spring lost to Brian Munzlinger of Williamstown and Dan Brown of Rolla, respectively. An open St. Louis area senate seat left by the retiring Democrat Joan Bray also went to a Republican -- John Lamping.

The tightest statewide race of the evening centered on the state's dog breeders. Voters were split almost 50-50 on the Proposition B question, which asked voters to tighten operating standards for breeders. The urban voters tipped the scale in favor of the measure, which ultimately passed by just over 51 percent of votes cast.

All other state-level ballot measures passed as well, including a ban on new earnings taxes, a ban on real estate transfer taxes and a property tax exemption for wounded ex-prisoners of war.

Localized ballot issues of note include smoking bans passed in Jefferson City and Fulton, a vote in support of the use of Taser guns by law enforcement in Columbia, and a vote favoring casino gambling in Cape Girardeau.

The secretary of state's website offers a detailed breakdown on races throughout the state.

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