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Politically Speaking: Breaking down two high-stakes statewide contests on Missouri’s primary ballot

Union members gathered at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Hall on Aug. 8, 2017, to notarize and turn in petitions to force a statewide vote over Missouri’s right-to-work law.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio
Union members gathered at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Hall on Aug. 8, 2017, to notarize and turn in petitions to force a statewide vote over Missouri’s right-to-work law.";

This week’s election edition of Politically Speaking looks into the referendum over Missouri’s right-to-work law — and the GOP primary for state auditor.

Besides the U.S. Senate contest, the right-to-work fight and GOP auditor race will be on every Missouri primary ballot on Aug. 7. And both matters could have long-term ramifications for the state’s politics.

Right to work bars unions and employers from requiring workers to pay dues as a condition of employment. Lawmakers quickly passed that measure after then-Gov. Eric Greitens was sworn into office. But unions were able to gather more than enough signatures to place the policy up for a vote.

Since the beginning of January, a group seeking to repeal right to work has taken in more than $10.7 million in donations of $5,000 or more. Most of that money has come from Missouri-based or national labor unions. That’s far more money that any pro-right-to-work campaign committee has raised thus far.

Meanwhile, four Republicans are running for the chance to face state Auditor Nicole Galloway in November. Galloway, a Democrat, was appointed to serve most of Tom Schweich’s unexpired term. She’s considered a possible gubernatorial contender in 2020, but most of the state’s political observers believe she needs to win a full term to be a viable contender.

Of the four candidates, attorney David Wasinger and state Rep. Paul Curtman, R-Union, have raised the most money thus far. Also in contention are Jefferson City attorney Saundra McDowell and St. Louis County native Kevin Roach.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter: @jmannies

Music: “People are People” by Depeche Mode

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