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Politically Speaking: Jefferson County basks in electoral spotlight as election season heats up

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley appeals to supporters Monday at a rally in Imperial, Mo., to promote his bid for the U.S. Senate.
Jo Mannies I St. Louis Public Radio
Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley appeals to supporters Monday at a rally in Imperial, Mo., to promote his bid for the U.S. Senate.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies look at the importance of Jefferson County in this year’s statewide election.

Whenever there’s a competitive statewide election, Jefferson County often gets a lot of attention. That’s because voters there almost always pick winners of statewide elections — as they did in 2016 and 2012.

The traditionally Democratic county has become more Republican in the past few years. And voters’ preferences for candidates who oppose abortion rights may help someone like GOP Senate hopeful Josh Hawley, who is running against U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.

But McCaskill may get a boost from the vote to repeal right to work, which bars unions and employers from requiring workers to pay dues as a condition of employment. Jefferson County residents voted overwhelmingly to repeal right to work in August.

Mannies and Rosenbaum also talk about the impact of Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination process, especially because Hawley made the appellate judge’s confirmation a major part of his campaign. They also talk about the end of the legal fight over Clean Missouri, a proposed constitutional amendment that will overhaul state legislative redistricting.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter: @jmannies

Music: “Night Lies” by Bang Camaro

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