KANSAS CITY — Operating on barely two hours of sleep after a stunning primary victory, State Auditor Claire McCaskill quickly set out Wednesday to unite the Democratic Party behind her gubernatorial candidacy — reaching out to defeated Gov. Bob Holden for his supporters’ cash and commitment.
Her new rival, the well-funded Republican Secretary of State Matt Blunt, immediately went on the offensive with TV advertising and a cross-state campaign tour.
A thin layer of dust and the penetrating smell of paint fills 325,000 feet of encased concrete and steel. Bright yellow insulation peeks out from behind steel rods in the 30-foot-wide main concourse while mustard yellow tiles line the walls of the south concourse. With just under two months before its planned Oct. 1 completion date, the Paige Sports Arena is on schedule.
“We are on time, on budget, and besides a few inevitable last minutes things, it’s looking good,” said Chad Moller, MU athletic department spokesman.
Top MU officials decided Wednesday to revamp the Tiger Hostess program, following allegations of sexual harassment and other illicit behavior made in a national magazine by a former hostess.
Effective the start of the fall semester, volunteers who assist with welcoming student athletes will be under the direction of the more general welcome service for all prospective students.
Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry and running mate John Edwards will stop this afternoon in Jefferson City for a rally at the Capitol as part of a statewide tour that includes stops in Hannibal and St. Louis.
“Democrats are fired up. This is historic for Jeff City. I can’t remember the last time the president and vice president candidates both showed up at the same time,” said Jim Gardner, communications director for the Missouri Democratic Party.
Missouri voters showed overwhelming support to ban gay marriage Tuesday, but the issue may yet face challenges in the courts. Same-sex couples in Missouri have legal recourse to challenge Amendment 2, which says “a marriage shall exist only between a man and a woman.”
MU law professor Carl Esbeck outlined several potential scenarios that could play out in the courts. If a same-sex couple tried to obtain a marriage license from the state, they would be denied. They could then argue in court that the state constitution violates the 14th amendment of the federal constitution, which guarantees equal protection of the law to all citizens.
When 10-year-old Katie Paul was told she was too young to volunteer at a Columbia food bank, her determination to lend a hand wasn’t squelched.
“My mom just kept looking for places I could help out, and we found this,” she said.
Regional Economic Development Inc. announced its new officers at a Tuesday meeting.
Outgoing board Chairman Joe Moseley announced the new officers. Taking over as chairwoman is Vicki Dunscombe, vice president and COO of Boone County National Bank.
KANSAS CITY — Democrats dumped embattled Gov. Bob Holden from their ticket Tuesday in favor of State Auditor Claire McCaskill, who held herself out as the best hope to swing Missouri — and the White House — to Democrats in November.
Holden, derisively dubbed “One-Term Bob” by opponents from the beginning of his term, became the first Missouri governor ever to lose in a primary and the first nationally in 10 years.
Dwayne Carey won the Democratic nomination for Boone County sheriff on Tuesday, earning 60 percent of the vote in a field of three candidates, all of whom have current or former employment ties with the sheriff’s department.
Carey will face Republican Mick Covington in the November general election. Maj. O.J. Stone, chief deputy of the sheriff’s department, came in second, followed by former sheriff’s narcotics officer Ken Kreigh.
In a tight race, Chuck Graham edged out Tim Harlan for the 19th District state Senate nomination in Tuesday’s Democratic primary. Graham will now face Republican Mike Ditmore in the general election Nov. 2.
Graham was all smiles at his post-election party at Boone Tavern. He said he looks forward to unifying the Democratic Party and getting ready for the November election.
JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri voters were headed toward easy passage of an amendment Tuesday that would add a ban on gay marriage to the Missouri Constitution.
Amendment 2 had garnered 69.9 percent of the vote, with 91 percent of precincts reporting, according to unofficial results.
Statewide election results from 94% of precincts were available at press time. For final numbers, go to www.sos.mo.gov .
Discussing her career goals, Boone County public administrator Connie Hendren often adheres to a cliché — what’s not broken, there is no need to fix.
As she prepares to face Republican challenger John Sullivan in November’s general election, Hendren’s campaign platform will focus on her ability to continue to work with clients the same way she has for the past 12 years.
Former Secretary of State Bekki Cook won the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor and will square off against Republican Senate President Pro Tem Peter Kinder in the general election. Libertarian Mike Ferguson will also appear on the November ballot.
“I’m excited about where we are at this point,” said Cook, who won the race over 19th District state Sen. Ken Jacob of Columbia. “Now, it’s going to be about getting ready for November.”
Democrat Judy Baker emerged the winner in the highly contested Democratic five-way primary for the 25th District Missouri House seat on Tuesday. She will face Republican Joel Jeffries in the November general election. Meanwhile, Democrat Travis Ballenger and Republican Ed Robb will vie for the 24th District seat.
The primary primary race for the 25th District House Democratic primary seat proved a challenge to voters in distinguishing like-minded candidates.
ROCKAWAY BEACH — Hopes for a casino slipped away Tuesday as voters across the state rejected an amendment to the Missouri Constitution that would have allowed a casino in Rockaway Beach.
The amendment’s supporters said allowing the casino on Rockaway Beach’s downtown waterfront would breathe new life into a fading tourist town, and they pledged to funnel the resulting state revenue toward teacher salaries and struggling schools.
KANSAS CITY — Republican Sen. Kit Bond and his likely challenger, Democratic state Treasurer Nancy Farmer, weren’t worried about Tuesday’s primary opposition — they were focusing on each other and on the November general election.
Bond won the U.S. Senate nomination with 90 percent of the GOP vote, with 5 percent of precincts reporting, according to unofficial results. Farmer was leading with an overwhelming 78 percent of the Democratic vote.
JEFFERSON CITY — The hearing for Mike Cooper — owner of Cooper’s Landing — before the Administrative Hearing Commission began Tuesday afternoon in Jefferson City. The appeal will continue Friday morning.
The Administrative Hearing Commission is a neutral, independent administrative court that decides disputes between state agencies and another party.
So far, MU’s athletic department has found no basis for allegations made in a national magazine by a former Tiger Hostess who said coaches ignored her complaints of sexual harassment.
The woman, identified only as “Emily” in an article in Seventeen’s September issue, described incidents in which she was asked by fellow Tiger Hostesses and players to go out to bars and strip clubs with recruits.
Members of the Columbia Police Department’s community services unit will meet with business representatives Thursday in the second of three sessions to discuss crime prevention.
“We basically decided that it would be something valuable for the Columbia community, based on programs that other cities are offering and requests that we’ve had for specific programs,” officer Tim Thomason said.