Election 2008

elections, Missouri, governor
L.G. Patterson/AP
Kenny Hulshof, R-Mo.

Hulshof Clears GOP Primary in Missouri Governor’s Race; Recount Possible in Attorney General Primary

August 06, 2008 05:23 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Chris Koster has declared victory in the Democratic attorney general primary, though his opponent Margaret Donnelly is less than 1,000 votes behind. Hulshof defeated Sarah Steelman, the state’s treasurer.
Republican Kenneth Hulshof will face Democrat Jay Nixon in November for Missouri’s highest office. Hulshof has been in the U.S. House of Representatives for nine years, while Nixon is the state’s attorney general.
Hulshof defeated Sarah Steelman, who, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said, “ran a classic outsider’s campaign.” The Countenance Blog’s blogmeister said Steelman didn’t present herself very well, and speculates that might have cost her the support of female voters.
The blogmeister predicts a democrat win: “Jay Nixon might as well measure for curtains now, because it’ll be at least a 20-point win over Hulshof. The issues where Nixon is vulnerable (Medicaid, immigration) are the ones that Hulshof wouldn’t dare touch.”
Hulshof had 49 percent of the votes, to Steelman’s 45 percent. Voter turnout was lower than expected, according to the Post-Dispatch. A heat wave that left most of the state feeling 100-degree heat indexes may have been to blame.
In the attorney general race, the democratic primary may not be over. Chris Koster, a state senator, led State Rep. Margaret Donnelly by less than 1,000 votes. A candidate can request a recount when there’s such a small margin, reports the Kansas City Star. Koster declared victory, but Donnelly’s camp hasn’t conceded. The Republican candidate, Michael Gibbons, another state senator, was unopposed.
Donnelly’s spokesman, Daniel Nava, told the Kansas City Star that there are outstanding votes from a St. Louis County precinct that wasn’t closed properly.
Josh Schroeder, a consultant and blogger in Missouri, says he thinks Gibbons has “an uphill battle” in the attorney general race, and has assumed Koster won. Koster, Schroeder said, beat three primary opponents and is known throughout the state. But the state’s GOP, Schroeder says, could make an extra effort to defeat Koster because he left the party last year.
The attorney general Democratic primary was an interesting one. Koster’s ex-wife allegedly donated $200,000 to a group that aired negative commercials about him just days before the primary.

The candidate with the most money won in almost all the major races, says a Post-Dispatch editorial. Campaign money was largely spent on automatic phone calls and television ads “some of them misleading and many of them negative.” By the end of the month, there won’t be any campaign contribution limits for statewide races. “If this kind of campaigning wins primaries, when candidates ostensibly are on the same side, just imagine what the fall election will be like.”

Reference: The Missouri races

The Kansas City Star has a voter’s guide with news stories and information for local candidates in the Kansas City area and statewide races.
The P-D, as it’s known in Missouri, has a searchable campaign contribution database.

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