Primary Election 2014 | St. Louis Public Radio

Primary Election 2014

Parth Shah, St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated 5:37 p.m. Thurs., Sept. 4)

In political campaigns, the biggest spenders often win. But not always.

That ended up being a major theme in Missouri's Aug. 5 primary for which the final campaign-finance reports -- due Thursday -- showed stark contrasts.

St. Louis County Councilman Steve Stenger, now the Democratic nominee for county executive, heads into his fall campaign with roughly $285,000 in the bank and an even larger debt.

Gov. Jay Nixon (UPI file photo/Bill Greenblatt)

While in St. Louis Saturday to give the commencement address for the Missouri branch of the online school Western Governors University, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon refused to take responsibility for last week’s failure of Amendment 7. The ballot measure would have raised sales taxes by three-quarters of a percent for ten years in order to raise money for bridges, roads and public transportation.

Editor's Weekly: A Hand For Missouri Voters

Aug 7, 2014
at the polls
Rachel Heidenry | File photo | St. Louis Beacon

Whether or not you like the results of Tuesday’s election, you might find some bright spots in what it revealed about voters.

At least in St. Louis County, voters showed up in higher than expected numbers. Across the state, voters proved resistant to the influence of money. And voters even found some common ground across the rural-urban divide that often immobilizes the state.

Of course, turnout for the primary was far from stellar – about 25 percent overall. But in St. Louis County nearly 30 percent showed up – substantially more than the 20 percent predicted.

Rick Stream, left, and Steve Stenger
Parth Shah | St. Louis Public Radio intern

The morning after their primary victories, the new nominees for St. Louis County executive – Democrat Steve Stenger and Republican Rick Stream – talked briefly before back-to-back appearances at a local television station.

Their cordial conversation is in line with what each says is a commitment to focus on the issues – not personalities -- over the next 88 days leading up to the Nov. 4 election.

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio's Chris McDaniel, Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum talk about the week’s politics.  This week, we dive into last night's election results.

The Politically Speaking crew broke down the results from Tuesday's primary elections. Among other things, the trio examined:

Proposition B asks to voters to allow their local city or county to continue collecting sales tax on cars bought out of state
File photo | St. Louis Public Radio

The results from Tuesday's primary are in. St. Louis Public Radio political reporters Jo Mannies and Marshall Griffin and University of Missouri–St. Louis political science professor Dave Robertson joined us Wednesday to talk about the election's outcomes, including the St. Louis County executive race and ballot measures.

St. Louis County Executive

A commercial chicken house in Florida.
USDA | Wikipedia

It was an early night for most of the amendments, but the farm interests had to stay up late. Shortly after midnight, unofficial state returns showed Amendment 1, the "right to farm" proposal, winning by 2,528 votes. That was a a margin of only about one-quarter of 1 percent, which is close enough to entitle the opposition to a recount.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting in statewide, Amendment 1 passed with 498,751 votes, or 50.127 percent.  The "no" votes came in at 496,223, or 49.873 percent.

Image by Brent Jones | St. Louis Public Radio

Constitutional amendment statewide results by county and the St. Louis County Executive race.

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Steve Stenger celebrates his victory in the Democratic primary for county executive.
Chris McDaniel | St. Louis Public Radio

Even St. Louis County Councilman Steve Stenger seemed shocked by his huge margin of victory Tuesday over St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley in the Democratic primary.

“It certainly looks absolutely phenomenal,’’ Stenger told reporters, shortly before Dooley officially conceded.

Stenger won with 66 percent of the countywide vote, carrying most of the county’s 28 townships. But his electoral success could have repercussions this fall.

(via Flickr/KOMUnews)

Missourians decisively rejected a sales tax increase earmarked for transportation projects, making for a striking defeat for a well-financed campaign from proponents and a victory for an ideologically diverse opposition coalition. 

The tax – commonly known as “Amendment 7” or the “transportation tax” – would have raised Missouri’s sales tax by 0.75 percent for 10 years. It would have also barred Missouri's policymakers from instituting tolls or raising the state’s gas tax during that same time period.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Bob Onder completed his comeback into state legislative life with a victory in the hard-fought – and expensive – contest for the 2nd District state Senate seat. 

The Lake Saint Louis Republican's win capped off a relatively light slate of legislative races -- as well as some unusually active local contests.

St. Louisans Share Their Voting Experiences

Aug 5, 2014

Missouri's primary election is today, and several St. Louisans are sharing their voting experiences online.

Live Updates: Election Day

Aug 5, 2014
voxefxtm | Flickr

Welcome to our one-stop place for all Aug. 5 election updates. Follow along with us and share what you're seeing. 

Resources for you:

Jo Mannies/St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated 9 a.m.,Tues., Aug. 5)

As today’s voting gets underway, the two men competing in the region’s hottest primary contest – St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley and his Democratic rival, Councilman Steve Stenger – are busily scrounging up support.

Accompanied by his wife and newborn daughter, Stenger showed up around 8 a.m. this morning at his polling place in Affton to cast his ballot and begin a day filled with stops at polling places around the county.

Parth Shah, St. Louis Public Radio

By any conceivable measure, Missouri doesn’t have a particularly robust election cycle this year. But that doesn't mean that there aren't lessons to learn.

Even though this year's primary season featured fewer contested races than usual, the past few months still produced twists, turns and surprises. That’s especially true because a number of ballot initiatives were placed on the August ballot, making up for a relative dearth of competitive legislative contests.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County’s contest for county executive has taken many unusual turns — with the latest engulfing consultants for the two battling Democrats: Richard Callow and Jane Dueker.

Callow has been advising incumbent Charlie Dooley, while Dueker has been assisting Councilman Steve Stenger.

Callow and Dueker are among the top consultants in the state; their clientele includes corporations as well as candidates. And it’s their work with businesses that appears to be the reason both are under fire.

Wealthy financier Rex Sinquefield has made another donation of $50,000 to embattled St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley, who’s in a tight primary race with County Councilman Steve Stenger.

Sinquefield’s donation was posted Thursday on the Missouri Ethics Commission’s website and comes less than a week after his earlier $50,000 donation to Dooley.

Sinquefield is, by far, Dooley’s most generous donor.

Parth Shah | St. Louis Public Radio

If you have watched any television lately, you'll have seen the barrage of ads in the Democratic race for St. Louis County executive -- one of the major races on the Aug. 5 primary ballot. County Executive Charlie Dooley, the incumbent for the past decade, is arguably in the political fight of his life with County Councilman Steve Stenger. While Dooley and Stenger are duking it out, House Budget Chairman Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood, and Green Park Alderman Tony Pousosa are waging a below the radar campaign.

Meet the candidates for county exec

Editor's Weekly: Vote

Jul 31, 2014
Rachel Heidenry | File photo | St. Louis Beacon

Next Tuesday, Missouri voters will write the ending to a summer season of political melodrama. Will you vote?

photo of Thomas Schweich
Provided by the auditor's office

The McArthur Bakery in Kirkwood briefly found itself as Ground Zero in the statewide debate over the constitutional amendment dubbed “right to farm’’ when supporters and an opponent noisily squared off.

Thursday’s incident also illustrated the battleground that St. Louis County may become in the final days of campaigning on that issue, and others, on Tuesday’s statewide ballot.

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