Jefferson City, Mo. – Hundreds of would-be office holders lined up in Jefferson City to file for dozens of political races across Missouri, including the year's biggest contest: The race to replace retiring U.S. Senator Kit Bond.
Secretary of State Robin Carnahan took a break from overseeing other candidates filing for office so she herself could file in the Democratic Primary for U.S. Senate. She commented on a recent poll that showed her trailing her main GOP rival, Congressman Roy Blunt.
"Missouri's always close...I've always thought we were going to have to scrap and fight hard for this election because that's the way it is in our state...I have no problem and am happy to do that, and I'm interested in comparing records and letting voters have a decision and make a choice about who they want representing them," Carnahan said.
Carnahan has a challenger within her own party: Francis Vangeli of Columbia, who describes himself as an old, tired, naive, procrastinating veteran.
On the Republican side, Roy Blunt is being challenged by State Senator Chuck Purgason from southern Missouri. Purgason says having more than one formidable candidate in a party primary won't harm the GOP.
"When you lose the presidency and the (U.S.) House and the (U.S.) Senate, you can't lose many more races than that...I think it's time that Republicans get back to their base and start electing people that represent the base of the party, and that's people that represent fiscal responsibility and being able to balance the budget," Purgason said.
Seven lesser-known Republican candidates also filed today: R. L. Prapotnik, James Schmidt, Hector Maldonado, Kristi Nichols, Deborah Solomon, Davis Conway, and Mike Vontz.
All nine of Missouri's U.S. Congressional seats are up for grabs. Among those seeking the 3rd U.S. Congressional seat was Edward Crim, who's running in the Democratic primary against incumbent Russ Carnahan.
"I figure all he's got going for him is name, connections, and money, and everything else is in my court," Crim said.
Russ Carnahan's main challenge is expected to come in November from Republican candidate Ed Martin, former Chief of Staff to former Governor Matt Blunt. Martin has one challenger in the August GOP primary: John Wayne Tucker, a realtor and ordained minister.
First-day filers also included the three candidates running for State Auditor: Democratic incumbent Susan Montee, and Republican challengers Tom Schweich and Allen Icet.
Candidates also filed to run for State House and Senate seats and circuit judgeships.
In all, a record number of people, 417, filed today to run in party primaries scheduled for August third. The previous record of 386 was set in 2002.
The final day to file is March 30th.