The Missouri primary election is tomorrow, so at least some of the Stupid Television Ads will disappear soon. Then we’ll get new Stupid Television Ads.
The big vote is the one to fill Roy Blunt’s Senate seat, a.k.a. the Missouri state primary from hell, which I’ve written about here, here, and here. On the Republican side, the latest polls I’ve seen have former governor Eric Greitens down and state Attorney General Eric Schmitt up. Republicans were desperate to not have Greitens be the nominee, because they believed him to be vulnerable in the general. So they paid for a bunch of effective ads highlighting the accusations of spousal and child abuse from Greitens’ estranged wife. I doubt Greitens’s infamous RINO hunting ad hurt him with voters, although I notice it got taken off the air quickly. I haven’t seen many pro-Greitens ads at all, so I’m guessing the Greitens campaign fell behind in fundraising.
Note that if Schmitt wins, he will be no improvement on Greitens at all. Schmitt is a Republican in the Ron DeSantis mold, all about protecing our “freedom” to behave as he wants us to behave. Or else.
The other Republican contender thought to have a shot at the nomination is Vicky Hartzler, a state representative. She is mostly known for being homophobic. Sure enough, she is running an ad boasting about how she will ban trans women from women’s sports. It’s not like the people of Missouri have any other problems to deal with, you know.
Yes, there are other Republicans running; none are an improvement on the top three. At least I haven’t heard anything from the Mark McCloskey campaign, which went nowhere.
The two viable Democratic candidates are Lucas Kunce and Trudy Busch Valentine, whom I wrote about in this post. Their stands on issues are pretty much alike and in line with the Dem party mainstream, and I wouldn’t have a problem voting for either in the general. However, Busch Valentine has refused to debate and is said to be shy about public appearances. Kunce, on the other hand, is a much more aggressive campaigner who will no doubt take the fight to whoever wins the Republican nomination. So I’m going with Kunce.
There is one other factor in the Senate contest, but not one that will be on a ballot tomorrow. A Republican named John Wood is running for Senate as an independent. He is being promoted in television ads featuring former Senator Jack Danforth, who calls on Missouri voters to find a middle way between the two absolutely awful parties, according to Danforth, by voting for Wood. The ads are a crashing bore. I have taken to muting them whenever they come on. Wood, of couse, would caucus with the Republicans if elected, so he’s a Republican candidate as far as I’m concerned. I have no idea where he stands on issues, and he’s not saying anything except that he’s for “traditional” and “mainstream” conservative values, whatever those are. I’d like to think that Wood would split the Republican vote in the general, but seems to me he’s as likely to take votes from the Democrat as the Republican if he can maintain the “pox on both their houses” position.
Because of redistricting I am in a different House district but somehow have the same representative as the old one. My rep in the U.S. Congress is Jason Smith, a factotum in service to any hard-right MAGA-head issue you can think of. Overturning the 2020 election? Check. Banning abortion? Check. Repealing Obamacare? Check. Opposing gun control? Check. Privatizing Social Security? Check. He has also declared that the January 6 insurrection was a false flag operation instigated by Nancy Pelosi. So, yeah, he has no redeeming value of any sort. I’d sooner vote for ripe road kill.
Running against Smith for the Republican nomination is some guy named Jacob Turner. All I know about him I got from his Facebook page. He’s running on the slogan “take back control.” As near as I can tell, he’s as far right as Jason Smith, so I’m not sure who he thinks he would be taking control from in the unlikely event he defeats Smith tomorrow.
There is one Democrat running for the nomination, so I will assume she will win her primary. She is a pleasant looking lady named Randi McCallian who is … a lactation consultant? Well, okay. I take it she hasn’t held an elected office before.
Now we move to state races. We will be electing a new state auditor. The current auditor, Nicole Galloway, is the person who got shafted when she ran against Mike Parson for governor in 2020. She’s done with politics now.
The Republican candidates for auditor are named David Gregory and Scott Fitzpatrick. David Gregory is running ads boasting that he has the endorsement of Missouri Right to Life and also promises to “investigate” the teaching of Critical Race Theory in schools. So he’s not running for Auditor as much as Grand Inquisitor. Scott Fitzpatrick is the current State Treasurer, and he promises to block tax dollars going to illegal immigrants and is also opposed to Critical Race Theory and anything associated with the Biden administration. So neither guy seems all that interested in auditing.
There is one Democratic candidate, Alan Green, and I will have no problem whatsoever voting for him.
The only person running to represent my State House District is the Republican incumbent, Mike Henderson. He is anti-choice. Otherwise he seems pretty good at flying under the radar. Likewise, the only person running for the State Senate district is the Republican incumbent, Elaine Gannon. She was born in the same hospital I was; aww. She is a former teacher so perhaps she isn’t as rabidly anti-education as some of the rest of her party. Otherwise she seems to be good at not taking positions.
So, basically, my only real choice tomorrow on the Democratic ballot is for U.S. Senator, and I will also check the boxes for Randi McCallian for U.S. House and Alan Green for state auditor. There is also a tax provision on the local ballot that is being promoted as a help to the county police force. I suspect it will pass, as I haven’t seen any arguments against it.
In other Missouri related news — my other so-called senator, Josh “the Flash” Hawley, has an article in National Interest explaining why he will vote against Finland and Sweden joining NATO. Basically, it’s because China is bad. Seriously. Apparently the United States is not capable of dealing with more than one malevolent world power at a time. This would have been news to Franklin Roosevelt. I sent Hawley a sternly worded email explaining to him that he is an idiot.
Update: Here’s a nice article on the Missouri Senate race by Michelle Cottle in the New York Times, who wrote that for a time Eric Greitens appeared to be cruising to the nomination —
Until late last month. That’s when a group of Republicans rolled out a super PAC, named Show Me Values, aimed at bringing down Mr. Greitens. Just a few weeks — and an estimated $6 million in ad spending — later, the effort seems to be working. Multiple polls show the former governor’s support slipping, dropping him behind a couple of his opponents. The state’s attorney general, Eric Schmitt, appears to have taken the lead. He, too, is an election-denying Trump suck-up. But at this point the G.O.P. is operating on a curve; simply weeding out those alleged to be abusers and other possible criminals can feel like a major achievement.
I don’t see sending Eric Schmitt to the Senate as an improvement over sending Greitens. Schmitt is indeed an election-denying Trump suck-up with no discernible moral compass other than furthering the ambitions of Eric Schmitt. He’d be indistinguishable from Josh Hawley, except for being heavier and slower.