Legislative Lowdown: Identifying competitive Missouri elections in 2014

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April 23, 2014

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2014 Missouri Legislative Lowdown

Table of Contents
Majority control
Margin of victory
Competitiveness

Other 2014 Election coverage
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State legislaturesU.S. HouseU.S. Senate

By Ballotpedia's State legislative team

Missouri's 2014 elections feature six former state representatives seeking a return to the state legislature. Vicki Schneider (R), who was term-limited in 2012, is running against Rep. Chuck Gatschenberger (R) and Bob Onder (R) for the Senate District 2 seat of the term-limited Scott Rupp (R). Defeated in her re-election bid in the 2012 Democratic primary, Tracy McCreery (D) faces no primary competition in her attempt to return to the chamber. Sylvester Taylor, II (D) was drawn against and defeated by fellow incumbent Rochelle Walton Gray (D) in 2012. He faces four other Democrats in a primary for the vacant Senate District 67 seat. Cloria Brown (R) is set for a rematch with now-Rep. Vicki Englund (D). Englund defeated Brown by 313 votes (1.8%) in 2012. Chris Carter (D) won re-election in 2012, but left the chamber to replace his deceased uncle on the St. Louis Board of Aldermen. Carter will face his replacement, Rep. Joshua Peters (D) in the Democratic primary. Defeated in the 2012 general election, Brent Lasater (R) faces Bill Kidd in the Republican primary. Should Lasater win, he will face a rematch with Rep. John A. Mayfield (D). Mayfield won in 2012 by 172 votes (1.2%).[1]

March 25 was the signature filing deadline for candidates wishing to run for Missouri State Senate and Missouri House of Representatives. Elections in 17 Senate districts and all 163 House districts will consist of a primary election on August 5, 2014, and a general election on November 4, 2014.

See also: 2014's state legislative elections, Missouri State Senate elections and Missouri House of Representatives elections

Majority control

Heading into the November 4 election, the Republican Party holds a majority in both state legislative chambers. Missouri's office of Governor is held by Jay Nixon (D), making the state one of 14 without a state government trifecta.

The difference in partisan composition between Democrats and Republicans in the Senate is 14 seats, or 82.4 percent of the seats up for election in 2014. There are seven districts where two major party candidates will appear on the general election ballot.[2]

Missouri State Senate
Party As of October 2014 After the 2014 Election
     Democratic Party 9 Pending
     Republican Party 23 Pending
     Vacancy 2 Pending
Total 34 34

The difference in partisan composition between Democrats and Republicans in the House is 56 seats, or 34.4 percent of the seats up for election in 2014. There are 39 districts where two major party candidates will appear on the general election ballot.[3]

Missouri House of Representatives
Party As of October 2014 After the 2014 Election
     Democratic Party 52 Pending
     Republican Party 109 Pending
     Vacancy 2 Pending
Total 163 163
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Margin of victory

Senate

Seventeen seats in the Senate were up for election in 2012. None of those districts are up for election in 2014.

House

All 163 seats in the House were up for election in 2012. Fifteen of those districts held competitive elections with a margin of victory ranging from 0 to 5 percent. Another five districts held mildly competitive elections with a margin of victory between 5 and 10 percent.[3]

The districts with elections in 2014 which held competitive or mildly competitive elections in 2012 are:

Competitive:

  • District 17: Mark Ellebracht (D) will presumably face Nick King (R) in the general election. Outgoing incumbent Myron Neth (R) won by a margin of victory of 1 percent in 2012.
  • District 20: Incumbent John Mayfield will face the winner of the Republican primary between Bill Kidd and former state representative Brent Lasater. Mayfield won by a margin of victory of 1 percent in 2012.
  • District 40: Incumbent Jim Hansen (R) will presumably face Lowell Jackson in the general election. Hansen won by a margin of victory of 4 percent in 2012.
  • District 44: Incumbent Caleb Rowden (R) will presumably face Tom Pauley (D) in the general election. Rowden won by a margin of victory of 2 percent in 2012.
  • District 47: Incumbent John Wright (D) will face the winner of the Republican primary between Chuck Basye and Betsy Phillips. Wright won by a margin of victory of 4 percent in 2012.
  • District 51: Incumbent Dean Dohrman (R) will presumably face Gary Grigsby (D) and Bill Wayne (L) in the general election. Dohrman won by a margin of victory of 4 percent in 2012.
  • District 64: Incumbent Robert Cornejo (R) will presumably face Laura Castaneda (D) in the general election. Cornejo won by a margin of victory of 3 percent in 2012.
  • District 70: Incumbent Bill Otto (D) will presumably face Joe Corica (R) in the general election. Otto won by a margin of victory of 4 percent in 2012.
  • District 90: Deb Lavender (D) will presumably face Gina Jaksetic (R) in the general election. Outgoing incumbent Rick Stream (R) won by a margin of victory of 1 percent in 2012.
  • District 94: Incumbent Vicki Englund (D) will presumably face Cloria Brown (R) in the general election. Englund won by a margin of victory of 2 percent in 2012.
  • District 97: Incumbent John McCaherty (R) will presumably face Tom Dohack (D) in the general election. McCaherty won by a margin of victory of 4 percent in 2012.
  • District 111: Incumbent Michael Frame (D) will face the winner of the Republican primary between Shane Roden and Jason Jarvis in the general election. Frame won by a margin of victory of 1 percent in 2012.
  • District 114: Incumbent T.J. McKenna will presumably face Becky Ruth (R) in the general election. McKenna won by a margin of victory of 0.54 percent in 2012.
  • District 115: Incumbent Elaine Gannon (R) will presumably face Dan Darian (D) and Jerry Dollar, Jr. (L) in the general election. Gannon won by a margin of victory of 2 percent in 2012.
  • District 150: Walter Dearing (D) will presumably face Andrew McDaniel (R) in the general election. Outgoing incumbent Kent Hampton (R) won by a margin of victory of 1 percent in 2012.

Mildly competitive:

Competitiveness

Using the official candidate lists from each state, Ballotpedia staff analyzes each district's election to look at the following circumstances:

  • Is the incumbent running for re-election?
  • If an incumbent is running, do they face a primary challenger?
  • Are both major parties represented on the general election ballot?

In Missouri's 2014 elections, those circumstances break down as follows:[4]

  • There are 29 open seats (16.1%) in the two chambers.
  • A total of 22 incumbents (14.6%) face a primary challenger.
  • 97 districts (53.9%) will feature a Democratic and Republican candidate on the general election ballot.

The following table puts the 2014 data into historical context. Overall index is calculated as the average of the three circumstances.

Comparing Missouri Competitiveness over the Years
Year  % Incs retiring  % incs rank  % Incs facing primary  % Incs primary rank  % seats with 2 MPC  % seats with 2 MPC rank Overall Index Overall Index Rank
2010 40.6% 5 15.0% 28 57.2% 34 37.6 20
2012 32.8% 9 27.8% 21 19.4% 44 26.7 37
2014 16.1% Pending 14.6% Pending 53.9% Pending 28.2 Pending

Senate

The following table details competitiveness in the Missouri State Senate.

Missouri Senate Competitiveness
 % Incs retiring  % Incs facing primary  % seats with 2 MPC Overall Index
29.4% 11.8% 41.2% 27.5

Candidates unopposed by a major party

In 10 (58.8%) of the 17 districts up for election, there is only one major party candidate running for election. One Democrat and nine Republicans are guaranteed election in November barring unforeseen circumstances.

Two major party candidates will face off in the general election in seven (41.2%) of the 17 districts up for election.

Primary challenges

Two incumbents will face primary competition on June 3. Five incumbents are not seeking re-election in 2014 and another 10 (43.5%) of the current 23 incumbents up for election will advance past the primary without opposition. One seat, District 22, is vacant and will not be filled before the general election. The state senators facing primary competition include:

Retiring incumbents

Five incumbent senators, one Democrat and four Republicans, are not running for re-election, while 12 (70.6%) are running for re-election. Those retiring incumbents are:

Name Party Current Office
Scott Rupp Ends.png Republican Senate District 2
Jolie Justus Electiondot.png Democratic Senate District 10
Brad Lager Ends.png Republican Senate District 12
John Lamping Ends.png Republican Senate District 24
Brian Nieves Ends.png Republican Senate District 26

House

The following table details competitiveness in the Missouri House of Representatives.

Missouri House Competitiveness
 % Incs retiring  % Incs facing primary  % seats with 2 MPC Overall Index
14.7% 12.3% 55.2% 27.4

Candidates unopposed by a major party

In 73 (44.8%) of the 163 districts up for election, there is only one major party candidate running for election. 20 Democrats and 53 Republicans are guaranteed election in November barring unforeseen circumstances.

Two major party candidates will face off in the general election in 90 (55.2%) of the 163 districts up for election.

Primary challenges

Twenty incumbents will face primary competition on June 3. Twenty-four incumbents are not seeking re-election in 2014 and another 116 (72.5%) of the current 160 incumbents will advance past the primary without opposition. Three seats are vacant pending the outcome of special elections on August 5, 2014. The state representatives facing primary competition include:

Retiring incumbents

Twenty-four incumbent representatives, seven Democrats and fourteen Republicans, are not running for re-election, while 139 (85.3%) are running for re-election. Those retiring incumbents are:

Name Party Current Office
Mike Thomson Ends.png Republican House District 1
Casey Guernsey Ends.png Republican House District 2
Ronald Schieber Ends.png Republican House District 14
Myron Neth Ends.png Republican House District 17
Jay Swearingen Electiondot.png Democratic House District 18
Jeff Grisamore Ends.png Republican House District 34
Ed Schieffer Electiondot.png Democratic House District 41
Chris Kelly Electiondot.png Democratic House District 45
Jeanie Riddle Ends.png Republican House District 49
Stanley Cox Ends.png Republican House District 52
Chris Molendorp Ends.png Republican House District 56
Dave Schatz Ends.png Republican House District 61
Rory Ellinger Electiondot.png Democratic House District 86
Jill Schupp Electiondot.png Democratic House District 88
Rick Stream Ends.png Republican House District 90
Dwight Scharnhorst Ends.png Republican House District 98
Doug Funderburk Ends.png Republican House District 103
Chuck Gatschenberger Ends.png Republican House District 108
Timothy Jones Ends.png Republican House District 110
Paul Wieland Ends.png Republican House District 112
Jeff Roorda Electiondot.png Democratic House District 113
Kevin Elmer Ends.png Republican House District 139
Steve Hodges Electiondot.png Democratic House District 149
Kent Hampton Ends.png Republican House District 150

See also

External links

References