Updated 4:45 p.m., Saturday, with election results — Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker is the new head of the Missouri Democratic Party, and outgoing state Rep. Clem Smith of St. Louis County is the new vice chairman.
Democratic activists hope that the duo — elected Saturday by party leaders gathered in Jefferson City — can help reorganize and revamp the party's image, operations and message.
To say Missouri Democrats fared poorly in the November election is an understatement. Even as national Democrats saw huge gains, Missouri Democrats largely got wiped out – for the second time in two years. The biggest loss was the defeat of U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill in her bid for a third term.
Missouri’s results came in spite of outgoing chairman Stephen Webber recruiting more candidates than state Democrats have seen in years, and campaigning hard for them.