Missouri State Primary Previews
Missouri Governor (Republican Defense, Incumbent Running)
Candidates: Mike Parson (incumbent), Saundra McDowell, James Neely, Raleigh Ritter
Overview: We start with the Gubernatorial race, with incumbent Mike Parson seeking his first full term as Governor after elevating from Lieutenant Governor in 2018. Parson faces 3 rivals in this race including most notably 2018 State Auditor nominee Saundra McDowell, who lost by 6 points to Democrat Nicole Galloway in that election. McDowell is running a fairly antiestablishment campaign which could help her in more rural areas but it seems unlikely she will come close to catching Parson. State Representative James Neely is running a similar campaign but likely won’t see success outside his base in Northwestern Missouri. A fourth candidate, businessman Ralegih Ritter, could also grab some scattered votes. While Parson could underperform due to spiking COVID numbers in Missouri, it seems highly unlikely that he loses this primary.
Prediction: Mike Parson wins with 65% of the vote.
Candidates: Nicole Galloway, Antoin Johnson, Jimmie Matthews, Eric Morrison, Robin Van Quaethem
Overview: On the Democratic side, State Auditor Nicole Galloway is the clear favorite. Galloway is the only Democrat currently elected statewide in Missouri and managed to hold her office in 2018 by a 6 point margin even while popular Senator Claire McCaskill lost hers by the same margin.
This map shows how Galloway managed to turn the tide in her favor. She won the state’s four largest cities (Kansas City, St. Louis, Springfield, and Columbia) as well as suburban counties near those cities. Tapping into suburban anger at Trump and the Republicans will be key to Galloway if she wants a chance at upsetting Parson. First though, she will need to make it past a field of primary opponents, none of whom are running very strong campaigns. Perhaps the most notable of these opponents is former St. Louis Councilman Jimmie Matthews, although at this point he is more a perennial candidate than a serious contender.
Prediction: Nicole Galloway wins with 80% of the vote.
Missouri Lt. Governor (Republican Defense, Incumbent Running)
Candidates: Mike Kehoe (incumbent), Mike Carter, Arnie Dienoff, Aaron Wisdom
Overview: We now move to the primary for Lt. Governor, where appointed incumbent Mike Kehoe faces three minor perennial candidate challengers. The only one of the three who has previously held office is Mike Carter, who was a judge in the town of Wentzville. None of them are doing much campaigning, so Kehoe should breeze to renomination.
Prediction: Mike Kehoe wins with 85% of the vote.
Candidates: Alissia Canady, Gregory Upchurch
Overview: On the Democratic side, there are two candidates from opposite sides of the state vying for the office. Former Kansas City Councilwoman Alissia Canady is the favorite, with more establishment backing and fundraising than 2018 legislative candidate Gregory Upchurch, who lives in the St. Louis suburbs. While I think both candidates will do well in their base cities, Canady seems likely to win the rest of the state given her establishment backing.
Prediction: Alissia Canady wins with 65% of the vote.
Missouri Attorney General (Republican Defense, Incumbent Running)
Incumbent Eric Schmitt is unopposed.
Candidates: Richard Finneran, Elad Gross
Overview: This primary could be the most interesting statewide one of the day, with state prosecutor Elad Gross facing off against federal prosecutor Richard Finneran. Gross is popular in the local establishment for pushing corruption and blackmail investigations against former Governor Eric Greitens, who eventually was indicted and forced to resign because of the scandal. However, Finneran has raised more than Gross and is more experienced as a prosecutor. He is also more moderate than Gross, which could be a good fit in a state like Missouri. Overall, either could win, but my gut says Gross pulls it out.
Prediction: Elad Gross wins with 52% of the vote.
Missouri Secretary of State (Republican Defense, Incumbent Running)
Incumbent Jay Ashcraft is unopposed.
Veteran Yinka Faleti is unopposed.
Missouri Treasurer (Republican Defense, Incumbent Running)
Incumbent Scott Fitzpatrick is unopposed.
Former State Representative Vicki Englund is unopposed