Kinder fends off challenge in Missouri lieutenant governor race

Tuesday, August 7, 2012 | 11:12 p.m. CDT; updated 12:23 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, August 8, 2012

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder survived a robust political challenge Tuesday, emerging from a combative Republican primary against state Sen. Brad Lager.

Victory in the primary is a first step toward a rare third term as lieutenant governor for Kinder, who decided to skip an expected gubernatorial campaign. Campaigning between Kinder and Lager, of Savannah, included numerous barbs and critical ads.

Last year, Kinder used personal funds to reimburse the state more than $54,000 for lodging expenses following reports by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he spent hundreds of nights at St. Louis hotels. Kinder said he did so to eliminate any doubts. He also acknowledged frequenting an Illinois strip club in the 1990s after an article in a St. Louis alternative newspaper. Both issues arose during the primary.

The only Missourian who has won three terms as lieutenant governor is Democrat Frank Gaines Harris, who first took office in 1933.

On the Democratic side, former state Auditor Susan Montee emerged from a crowded field of candidates to win her party's lieutenant governor race. Montee beat seven rivals in a relatively low-key campaign that received scant attention before Election Day. In 2010, she lost a re-election bid as state auditor.

Missouri voters also decided on candidates for secretary of state — a post responsible for overseeing elections, regulating securities and managing the state library and archives. Democrat Robin Carnahan had announced she would not run for re-election, prompting state Rep. Jason Kander to declare his candidacy within minutes.

Kander, of Kansas City, skated through his primary Tuesday against a little-known opponent.

Three Republican state lawmakers batted in the GOP primary for secretary of state. Rep. Shane Schoeller, of Willard, was leading with most of the state's precincts reporting. Differences among the three Republican lawmakers were relatively limited. For example, each said he would push for a requirement that voters show a photo ID at the polls.

Schoeller is the House speaker pro tem and was first elected to the state Legislature in 2006.

In the attorney general's campaign, Ed Martin, the former chief of staff to Republican Gov. Matt Blunt, beat the Livingston County prosecuting attorney. Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster was unopposed in his primary.

Also unopposed were the Republican and Democratic candidates for state treasurer. Clint Zweifel, a Democrat, is seeking a second and is being challenged by Republican Cole McNary, a state lawmaker from St. Louis County.

Election results


Lieutenant Governor Dem - Primary

3,418 of 3,420 precincts - 99 percent

x-Susan Montee 131,116 - 45 percent

Judy Baker 46,168 - 16 percent

Bill Haas 35,005 - 12 percent

Sara Lampe 25,887 - 9 percent

Dennis Weisenburger 16,134 - 6 percent

Jackie Townes McGee 15,462 - 5 percent

Becky Plattner 11,072 - 4 percent

Fred Kratky 10,972 - 4 percent

Lieutenant Governor GOP - Primary

3,418 of 3,420 precincts - 99 percent

x-Peter Kinder (i) 254,839 - 44 percent

Brad Lager 239,580 - 42 percent

Mike Carter 47,208 - 8 percent

Charles Kullmann 34,908 - 6 percent

Secretary of State GOP - Primary

3,418 of 3,420 precincts - 99 percent

Shane Schoeller 193,033 - 35 percent

Scott Rupp 188,491 - 34 percent

Bill Stouffer 165,496 - 30 percent

Secretary of State Dem - Primary

3,418 of 3,420 precincts - 99 percent

x-Jason Kander 247,246 - 87 percent

MD Rabbi Alam 37,316 - 13 percent

Attorney General GOP - Primary

3,418 of 3,420 precincts - 99 percent

x-Ed Martin 373,081 - 72 percent

Adam Warren 148,316 - 28 percent


Lieutenant governor

Although, Columbia native Judy Baker lost in her bid to become the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor Tuesday night, she did well in her home county.

Baker, a former state representative and one of eight candidates in the Democratic primary, admitted she was surprised at the numbers because she felt she and her team had a run a good grassroots primary campaign.

Despite her loss at the state level, Baker carried Boone County with 5,033 votes — nearly twice as many votes as the seven other Democratic candidates earned combined. Montee got 23.4 percent of Boone County Democrats' votes.

"It's disappointing but not defining," Baker said at her campaign watch party Tuesday night. She added that there was still room for her to serve the public, but she did not know yet what her next step would be.

"It felt so good in the last weeks because of the on-the-ground feel," she said. "We didn't have enough money, though, and that's the way Missouri politics is right now."

Brad Lager prevailed among Republicans in Boone County.

Secretary of state

In Boone County, Democrats heavily favored Jason Kander. He received 6,290 votes to MD Rabbi Alam's 911. Republicans liked Stouffer, who received 4,475 votes, or 46.7 percent. Schoeller received 2,668 votes, or 27.8 percent, and Scott Rupp received 2,446 votes, or 25.6 percent.

Attorney general

In Boone County, Ed Martin received 6,721 votes, or 74.8 percent. Adam Lee Warren, the other Republican candidate, received 2,263 votes, or 25.2 percent.

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