The 2016 Missouri primary election has come and gone with very little in the way of surprises. Jason Kander, Missouri's current Secretary of State, handily earned the right to challenge incumbent Senator Ol' Roy Blunt in the general election. Democrat Kander has built a strong political organization to promote his candidacy, and he was able to capture nearly 70 percent of the vote. Some observers are now rating the race between Kander and Blunt this fall as a toss-up. Blunt won his own primary with 72% of the vote.
Current state attorney general Chris Koster easily won the Democratic primary for governor, stomping three other candidates by capturing nearly eighty percent of the votes cast.
The only true race of the day was the Republican slug-fest for the gubernatorial nomination. Former Navy Seal Eric Greteins barked and swam his way to victory over three other candidates - millionaire and self-funder John Brunner who finished second, Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder who came in third, and former Missouri House Speaker Catherine Hanaway who finished last. Greteins won with over a third of the vote, leading Bruner by nearly ten percentage points. The three losers finished relatively close together.
Eric Greteins got lucky toward the end of the campaign when the Democratic Governor's Association began funding ads against him. He was able to make it look like the DGA was trying to manipulate a Republican election - which it was. Greteins deftly played the victim card to his benefit.
One surprise during the evening came with a rather strong performance by Chief Wana Dubie, a marijuana legalization activist from Dent County. The Chief finished third in the Democratic race for United States Senator, garnering nearly ten percent of the vote. One in ten Democratic voters in Missouri cast their official ballots for a man who has a burning marijuana leaf tattooed across his forehead!
As my old platoon sergeant used to say, "Smoke 'em if you got 'em!"
For the times they are a-changin!