Tagmissouri

Stories about Missouri

Ten Missourian candidates completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection Survey

Below are a selection of responses from the candidates who recently filled out Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. To read each candidate’s full responses, click their name at the bottom of the article.

Justin Hicks is running for Missouri House of Representatives to represent District 108 and the Republican primary is on Aug. 2. Here’s how Hicks responded to the question “Who are you? Tell us about yourself.”

“Justin Hicks is a husband, father, combat veteran of six years in the United States Army, Attorney, Missouri Assistant Attorney General, and Director of the Defenders program which provides legal services to military members and veterans. As a Conservative, career public servant, and Christian, Justin believes traditional family values and the United States Constitution’s fundamental principles are the foundational elements to supporting strong communities and a prosperous state.”

Click here to read the rest of Hick’s answers. 

Jessica DeVoto is running for Missouri House of Representatives District 69 and the Democratic primary is on Aug. 2. Here’s how DeVoto responded to the question “What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?”

“My primary concern is the rights and personal liberties of my constituents—including women, ethnic minorities, LGBTQ individuals, individuals with disabilities, low-income families, etc.—not the interests of large corporations. In addition, I believe thats expanding voting access, expanding healthcare, empowering unions, and investing in education are critical to making our great state greater yet.”

Click here to read the rest of DeVoto’s answers.

If you’re a Missouri candidate or incumbent, click here to take the survey. The survey contains over 30 questions, and you can choose the ones you feel will best represent your views to voters. If you complete the survey, a box with your answers will display on your Ballotpedia profile. Your responses will also populate the information that appears in our mobile app, My Vote Ballotpedia.

If you’re not running for office but you would like to know more about candidates in Missouri, share the link and urge them to take the survey!

Additional reading:

  • Justin Hicks (R) – Missouri House of Representatives District 108
  • Jessica DeVoto (D) – Missouri House of Representatives District 69
  • Mike Tsichlis (R) – Missouri House of Representatives District 96
  • Philip Oehlerking (R) – Missouri House of Representatives to represent District 100
  • Alex Bryant (R) – U.S. House, Missouri 7th Congressional District
  • Thomas Ross (R) – Missouri House of Representatives District 161
  • Mark Matthiesen (R) – Missouri House of Representatives District 107
  • David Kelsay (R) – Missouri House of Representatives District 126
  • Deanna Self (R) – Missouri House of Representatives District 64
  • Michael Sinclair (D) – Missouri State Senate District 2


Missouri sees most U.S. House candidates since at least 2014

The filing deadline for candidates running for Congress in Missouri this year was March 29, 2022. Fifty-nine candidates are running in Missouri’s eight U.S. House districts, including 22 Democrats and 37 Republicans. That’s 7.37 candidates per district, more than the five candidates per district in 2020 and the 4.87 in 2018.

Here are some other highlights from this year’s filings:

  • This is the first election to take place under new district lines following the 2020 census. Missouri was apportioned eight districts, the same number it was apportioned after the 2010 census.
  • The 59 candidates running this year are the most candidates running for Missouri’s U.S. House seats since at least 2014, the earliest year for which we have data.

  • Two districts — the 4th and the 7th — are open. Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R), who represents the 4th district, and Rep. Billy Long (R), who represents the 7th district, are running for the U.S. Senate. 
  • The two open seats this year are the first U.S. House seats to open up in the state since at least 2012, the earliest year for which we have data. 
  • Eleven candidates  — three Democrats and eight Republicans  — are running to replace Long, the most candidates running for a seat this year. 
  • There are six contested Democratic primaries this year, the most since at least 2014, and eight contested Republican primaries, the most since 2016, when there were also eight contested Republican primaries. 
  • All six incumbents running for re-election are facing primary challengers, the same number as in 2020 and one more than in 2018. 
  • Candidates filed to run in the Republican and Democratic primaries in all eight districts, so no seats are guaranteed to either party this year. 

Missouri and four other states — Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, and Washington — are holding primary elections on August 2. In Missouri, the winner of a primary election is the candidate who wins the greatest number of votes cast for that office, even if he or she does not receive an outright majority of votes.

Additional reading:



Seven Missourian candidates completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey since June 8

Below are a selection of responses from the candidates who filled out Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey since June 8. To read each candidate’s full responses, click their name at the bottom of the article.

Wally Long is running for election to the Missouri House of Representatives to represent District 157 and the Republican primary is on Aug. 2. Here’s how Long responded to the question “What do you perceive to be your state’s greatest challenges over the next decade?”

“School/education funding. Infrastructure funding. Reducing our need for federal funding and the strings attached to it.”

Click here to read the rest of Long’s answers. 

Pamela Paul is running for election to the Missouri House of Representatives to represent District 68 and the Democratic primary is on Aug. 2. Here’s how Paul responded to the question “What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?”

“Polices that involve the issues that effect families abilities to thrive, such as jobs, education, and access to resources. I am a proponent of policies that promote access to healthcare, especially for seniors, children, hard working people, people with mental health challenges and substance use disorders, and the general underserved. I am also passionate about policies that protect homeowners rights. Additionally, policies that guide the rights of people to engage in local and state wide government issues are very important. I believe that decisions that will govern our lives need to include the desire of the many along with the few.”

Click here to read the rest of Paul’s answers. 

If you’re a Missouri candidate or incumbent, click here to take the survey. The survey contains over 30 questions, and you can choose the ones you feel will best represent your views to voters. If you complete the survey, a box with your answers will display on your Ballotpedia profile. Your responses will also populate the information that appears in our mobile app, My Vote Ballotpedia.

If you’re not running for office but you would like to know more about candidates in Missouri, share the link and urge them to take the survey!

Additional reading:

  • Wally Long (R) – Missouri House of Representatives District 157
  • Pamela Paul (D) –  Missouri House of Representatives District 68
  • John Dady (R) – U.S. House, Missouri’s 6th Congressional District
  • John Woodman (D) – U.S. House, Missouri’s 7th Congressional District
  • Mary “Kathy” Steinhoff (D) – Missouri House of Representatives District 45
  • Tracy Grundy (D) – Missouri House of Representatives District 107
  • George Hruza (R) –  Missouri State Senate District 24


Missouri General Assembly considered highest number of judiciary bills since 2019

In 2022, the Missouri General Assembly considered the highest number of judiciary bills since 2019, but passed the fewest number of bills. The General Assembly considered 267 judiciary bills during the 2022 legislative session and passed one bill. The next highest number of bills considered was in 2020 (242 bills) and 2 bills were passed each year from 2019 to 2021. 

Judiciary bills have been adopted into every year since 2019. In order for a bill to become law, it must pass both the House and Senate and be signed by Gov. Mike Parson (R) or the legislature overrides a veto from the governor. The bill that became law in 2022 was signed on June 11 after the end of the legislative session. 

There are two judiciary committees in the Missouri Legislature. The Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee and the House Judiciary Committee. The Missouri General Assembly has 66 total standing committees. The Missouri Senate has 20 standing committees, the Missouri House of Representatives has 34 standing committees, and there are 12 joint legislative committees in the Missouri Legislature. The number of special committees fluctuates each session. The subject matter of these committees is more specialized than the standing committees, so most of these committees have been assigned less bills on average than the standing committees.

The Missouri General Assembly is the state legislature of Missouri. It is a bicameral legislature composed of a 34-member Senate and a 163-member House of Representatives. Senators are term limited to two four-year terms and representatives are limited to four two-year terms. The Missouri General Assembly is a part-time legislature. The 2022 session convened on Jan. 5 and will adjourn May 13. 

Missouri is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas in the U.S. The Republican Party controls the office of governor and both chambers of the General Assembly. There is a 24-10 Republican majority in the Senate and a 108-49 majority in the House. The Republicans have a veto-proof supermajority in both chambers. In the event of a veto issued by Gov. Parson, the Republican majority is large enough to override the veto without any votes from members of the Democratic Party. 

Additional reading:



Missouri General Assembly considered the highest number of government accountability and oversight bills since 2019

In 2022, the Missouri General Assembly considered the highest number of government accountability and oversight bills since 2019. The House and Senate considered 108 bills during the 2022 legislative session and 91 in 2021.

Government accountability and oversight bills have been adopted into law in three (2022, 2021, and 2019) out of the past four years. In order for a bill to become law, it must pass both the House and Senate and be signed by Gov. Mike Parson (R) or the legislature overrides a veto from the governor. The three bills that became law in 2022 were signed by on June 7 and 8 after the end of the legislative session. 

There are three government accountability and oversight committees in the Missouri Legislature. The Senate Government Accountability and Fiscal Oversight Committee, the House Special Committee on Government Accountability, and the House Special Committee on Government Oversight. The Missouri General Assembly has 66 total standing committees. The Missouri Senate has 20 standing committees, the Missouri House of Representatives has 34 standing committees, and there are 12 joint legislative committees in the Missouri Legislature. The number of special committees fluctuates each session. The subject matter of these committees is more specialized than the standing committees, so most of these committees have been assigned less bills on average than the standing committees.

The Missouri General Assembly is the state legislature of Missouri. It is a bicameral legislature composed of a 34-member Senate and a 163-member House of Representatives. Senators are term limited to two four-year terms and representatives are limited to four two-year terms. The Missouri General Assembly is a part-time legislature. The 2022 session convened on Jan. 5 and will adjourn May 13. 

Missouri is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas in the U.S. The Republican Party controls the office of governor and both chambers of the General Assembly. There is a 24-10 Republican majority in the Senate and a 108-49 majority in the House. The Republicans have a veto-proof supermajority in both chambers. In the event of a veto issued by Gov. Parson, the Republican majority is large enough to override the veto without any votes from members of the Democratic Party. 

Additional reading:



Seven Missourian candidates completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey since June 1

Below are a selection of responses from the candidates who filled out Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey since June 1. To read each candidate’s full responses, click their name at the bottom of the article.

Charles West is running for  U.S. House to represent Missouri’s 6th Congressional District and the Democratic primary is on Aug. 2. Here’s how West responded to the question “What qualities do you possess that you believe would make you a successful officeholder?”

“I am outspoken and a very good listener. An elected official needs to possess both of these qualities to be a good representative.”

Click here to read the rest of West’s answers. 

Karen Vennard is running for Missouri House of Representatives to represent District 108 and the Republican primary is on Aug. 2. Here’s how Vennard responded to the question “What characteristics or principles are most important for an elected official?”

“Don’t make promises that you cannot keep and if you have to tell someone no that you can’t help then help them find resources that can, They will respect you for your honesty, Always remember that people may have another reason that they are angry about when showing their displeasure with you. Never be swayed by the vocal minority. They will monopolize your time but be responsive to them if they have a true issue that you solve for them. Stay in your lane! Given that explanation, know your job limits within the law, listen and truly care about the people you represent. Develop a thick skin.”

Click here to read the rest of Vennard’s answers.

If you’re a Missouri candidate or incumbent, click here to take the survey. The survey contains over 30 questions, and you can choose the ones you feel will best represent your views to voters. If you complete the survey, a box with your answers will display on your Ballotpedia profile. Your responses will also populate the information that appears in our mobile app, My Vote Ballotpedia.

If you’re not running for office but you would like to know more about candidates in Missouri, share the link and urge them to take the survey!

Additional reading:

  • Charles West (D) –  U.S. House Missouri’s 6th Congressional District
  • Sarah Shorter (D) – Missouri State Senate District 34
  • Karen Vennard (R) – Missouri House of Representatives District 108
  • Pat Kelly (D) – U.S. Senate
  • James Lowman (R) – Missouri House of Representatives District 29
  • Jack Truman (D) – U.S. House Missouri’s 4th Congressional District
  • Amy Blansit (D) – Missouri House of Representatives District 133


Candidates for office in Missouri complete Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey

Below are a selection of responses from the candidates who filled out Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey since May 15, 2022. To read each candidate’s full responses, click their name at the bottom of the article.

Raymond Reed is running for election to the U.S. House to represent Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District and the Democratic primary is on Aug. 2. Here’s how Reed responded to the question “Who do you look up to? Whose example would you like to follow, and why?”

“Obviously Barack Obama because I think we both approach politics and life similarly with an optimistic and hopeful outlook. But I also have to give credit to Jason Kander (former Secretary of State in Missouri). Most folks think Kander materialized in a viral 2016 campaign ad of him breaking down an assault rifle while blindfolded, but I always encourage folks to research his work in the Missouri legislature and more importantly his work since 2018 protecting our democracy and fighting for veterans. Kander is some one who always placed integrity over expediency and service over his own ambition, and I’ve tried to emulate that in my own race.”

Click here to read the rest of Reed’s answers. 

Christopher Ray is running for Missouri House of Representatives District 111 and the Republican primary is on Aug. 2. Here’s how Ray responded to the question “Do you believe that compromise is necessary or desirable for policymaking?”

“We have districts for a reason and an elected individual from each district for a reason. That reason is clear. Each district is going to have a difference of opinion on many subjects that come across the legislatures table. If everyone agreed on every subject we would not need districts. The system we have in place was designed to have differences of opinion and to put those differences to a vote amongst others from other areas in our state. In the end after a vote is how a compromise is made.”

Click here to read the rest of Ray’s answers. 

If you’re a Missouri candidate or incumbent, click here to take the survey. The survey contains over 30 questions, and you can choose the ones you feel will best represent your views to voters. If you complete the survey, a box with your answers will display on your Ballotpedia profile. Your responses will also populate the information that appears in our mobile app, My Vote Ballotpedia.

If you’re not running for office but you would like to know more about candidates in Missouri, share the link and urge them to take the survey!

Additional reading:

  • Aaron Crossley (D) – Missouri House of Representatives District 29
  • Robert Smith (L) – Missouri House of Representatives District 125
  • Raymond Reed (D) – U.S. House Missouri 2nd District
  • Jon Karlen (D) – U.S. House Missouri 3rd District
  • Matthew Griese (R) – Missouri House of Representatives District 108
  • Christopher Ray (R) – Missouri House of Representatives District 111
  • Don Houston (D) – Missouri House of Representatives District 68
  • Andrew Daly (D) – U.S. House Missouri 3rd Congressional District
  • Andrew Hurt (R) – Missouri House of Representatives District 125


Missouri General Assembly considered the highest number of education bills since 2019

In 2022, the Missouri General Assembly considered the highest number of education bills since 2019. The House and Senate considered 149 bills during the 2022 legislative session and 73 in 2019. There were no education bills to become law in either year.

Education bills have been adopted into law in two (2020 and 2021) out of the past four years. In order for a bill to become law, it must pass both the House and Senate and be signed by Gov. Mike Parson (R) or the legislature overrides a veto from the governor. 

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There are three education committees in the Missouri Legislature. The Senate Education Committee, the House  Primary and Secondary Education Committee, and the House Higher Education Committee. The Missouri General Assembly has 66 total standing committees. The Missouri Senate has 20 standing committees, the Missouri House of Representatives has 34 standing committees, and there are 12 joint legislative committees in the Missouri Legislature. 

The Missouri General Assembly is the state legislature of Missouri. It is a bicameral legislature composed of a 34-member Senate and a 163-member House of Representatives. Senators are term limited to two four-year terms and representatives are limited to four two-year terms. The Missouri General Assembly is a part-time legislature. The 2022 session convened on Jan. 5 and will adjourn May 13. 

Missouri is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas in the U.S. The Republican Party controls the office of governor and both chambers of the General Assembly. There is a 24-10 Republican majority in the Senate and a 108-49 majority in the House. The Republicans have a veto-proof supermajority in both chambers. In the event of a veto issued by Gov. Parson, the Republican majority is large enough to override the veto without any votes from members of the Democratic Party. 

Additional reading:



Two months to Missouri’s primary

Missouri’s 2022 primary election is in two months. It is scheduled for Aug. 2. The filing deadline was on March 29.

A primary election is used to narrow the field of candidates for certain positions or to determine the political party nominees before a general election. Missouri has an open primary. Voters are not required to be affiliated with a political party in order to vote in that party’s primary. Voters are also able to declare any party at the polls regardless of previous party affiliation. 

In the Missouri primary, voters throughout the state will select one candidate to serve in the U.S. Senate, eight candidates to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, a state auditor, 17 state senators, and 163 state representatives. Clay County, Jackson County, Platte County, and the city of St. Louis have municipal positions that will be on the ballot. Using Ballotpedia’s sample ballot lookup tool, voters can find the candidates that will be on their ballot on Aug. 2. 

Those who wish to vote in-person must be registered by July 6. Registration is possible online, in-person, or by mail. If registration forms are mailed, they must be postmarked on or before July 6. The state of Missouri does not have early voting. Those who qualify for an absentee ballot must have their request form received in the mail by July 20. 

Additional reading:



How COVID, race, and gender affected the April 5 school board races in Missouri, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin

School board incumbents lost at nearly twice the historical average rate in a sample of April 2022 school board contests where candidates offered views on three conflict issues

Ballotpedia identified 141 school districts in Missouri, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin that held elections on April 5, where candidates took a stance on race in education, COVID responses, or sex and gender in schools. That is 9.7% of the 1,453 school districts in these states, not all of which held elections on April 5.

There were 334 seats up for election in these 141 districts.

We researched the winning candidates’ stances on these three issues following the elections using media reporting, op-eds, candidate websites, campaign ads, and more. After this, we labeled each candidate as either supporting or opposing. In cases where candidate stances were not readily apparent, we labeled them unclear.

  • Race in education: candidates supporting this issue tend to support expanding the use of curricula related to race and district-specific equity or diversity plans. Candidates opposing this issue tend to oppose these efforts.
  • Responses to the coronavirus pandemic: candidates supporting this issue tend to support or previously supported, mask or vaccine requirements and social distancing or distance learning relating to the pandemic. Candidates opposing this issue tend to oppose these measures their districts took or considered in response to the pandemic.
  • Sex and gender in schools: candidates supporting this issue tend to support expanding sexual education curricula or the use of gender-neutral facilities and learning materials. Candidates opposing this issue tend to oppose these efforts.

Incumbents running for re-election in these 141 districts lost to challengers at a rate nearly twice recent averages.

Over the past four election cycles, from 2018 to 2021, incumbents lost 18% of races where they filed for re-election among those districts within Ballotpedia’s coverage scope.

In the April 5 conflict races, 33% of incumbents lost re-election. This loss rate is higher than that found in our previous study, which examined a separate set of conflict races for school boards across 16 states that held elections on Nov. 2, 2021.

Of the 334 winners in the April 5 conflict races:

  • 120 opposed at least one of these three issues (36%);
  • 149 supported at least one and opposed none (45%); and,
  • 65 had unclear stances on all three (20%).

In our previous Nov. 2, 2021, study, there were 310 seats up for election. In that analysis, we found 30% of winners (94) opposing, 56% (173) supporting, and 14% (43) unclear.

In our April 2022 analysis, 54 candidates took identifiable stances on all three issues. The remaining 280 typically had a mixture of opposing or supporting stances and unclear viewpoints. This was expected: not every race showed signs of conflict on all three issues heading into the elections.

The most common conflict was responses to the coronavirus pandemic, which appeared in 135 districts accounting for 320 seats. Race in education followed, appearing in 108 districts with 258 seats. Sex and gender appeared in 69 districts accounting for 159 seats.

When looking at specific conflicts, in districts where we identified a conflict regarding responses to the coronavirus pandemic, a plurality of winners—124, or 39%—took stances supportive of things like mask requirements or social distancing. Ninety-nine winners (31%) took opposing stances and 97 winners (30%) had unclear stances.

In districts with conflicts regarding race in education, a plurality of winners—105, or 41%—took stances supportive of curricula that included topics regarding race or diversity, equity, and inclusion plans. Seventy-seven winners (30%) had opposing stances and 76 winners (30%) had unclear stances.

In districts where we identified conflicts regarding sex and gender in schools, a majority of winners—90, or 57%—had unclear stances regarding topics like sexual education curricula or the usage of gender-specific facilities. Forty winners (25%) took opposing stances and 29 (18%) had supportive stances.

In total, 233 incumbents filed for re-election, leaving 101 seats open, guaranteed to be won by newcomers. That represents 30% of the seats up for election. This is similar to what we see among school board districts within our coverage scope in the ten years we have been covering school board elections.

It also represents a decrease from the school board conflicts analysis Ballotpedia conducted following the November 2021 elections. In that sample, nearly half of the seats up for election were open.

This implies that incumbents were not retiring at an increased rate in these 141 school districts.

Using the link below, you can find a complete list of school districts where Ballotpedia has identified one of the three conflicts present in school board elections from 2021 to 2022.

Conflicts in school board elections, 2021-2022