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Who are the people on your primary ballot?

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Tomorrow's primary election is notable for the divisive and expensive ads (especially for the Republican races for governor and attorney general). But voters have a lot of choices to make all the way down the ballot.

In the months before the primary, all of the major candidates for statewide office appeared on our Politically Speaking podcast. For those who haven't yet discovered it, the podcast is a place where politicians talk about issues and introduce themselves to listeners in an informal setting. Below, you will find links to each of those podcasts and more


The four Republican candidates — John Brunner, Eric Greitens, CatharineHanaway and Peter Kinder — largely agree on issues, so they have argued more about effectiveness, experience and the deficiencies of their opponents. On the Democratic side, Attorney General Chris Koster has no well-funded opposition.

Lieutenant Governor

The contrast among the candidates is striking. On the Republican side: Mike Parson is a long-time legislator and a farmer; Bev Randles is a Kansas City lawyer and formerly headed Missouri Club for Growth. The Democratic race features a former member of Congress, Russ Carnahan, and state legislator and pastor Tommie Pierson.

Attorney General

The GOP attorney general candidates rival their party's candidates for governor in expensive and acrimonious ads. They do have differences in how they see the function of the office, with Kurt Schaefer stressing prosecutorial functions and Josh Hawley emphasizing the role of constitutional interpretation and appeal. The Democrats also have different perspectives: Theresa Hensley leans toward the prosecutorial side; Jake Zimmerman stresses consumer protection.


Republican Eric Schmitt has no major opposition. For the Democrats, Pat Contreras from Kansas City is a businessman who was a foreign service officer. His opponent, Judy Baker, of Columbia, is a former teacher and state representative who also runs a business.

Secretary of State

The favorite in the Democratic primary is former newswoman Robin Smith. The Republican contest is between state Sen. Will Kraus from Lee's Summit and attorney Jay Ashcroft of St. Louis County. Ashcroft is the son of former governor and U.S. attorney general, John Ashcroft.


Among the area's congressional districts, the firepower is being unleashed in the 1st District. Long-time incumbent Lacy Clay is being challenged by state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal (both live in University City) and St. Louis school board member Bill Haas. The Republican contest is between Paul Berry III and Steven Bailey.

Missouri Senate

Of the contested races for the state Senate, we focused on the 15th district in west St. Louis County, where two Republicans (Andrew Koenig and Rick Stream) and two Democrats (Mark Boyko and Steve Eagleton) are trying to take the seat that had been held by Eric Schmitt, who is running for treasurer.

Missouri House

The races addressed in the overview story are for the 80th district in St. Louis (Democrats Ben Murray and Peter Merideth), the 81st ( Democrats Fred Wessels, Adam Kustra and Steve Butz), the 96th (Republicans David Gregory and Dan Reuter), the 100th (Republicans Mike Allen and Derek Grier) and the 101st (Republicans Joy Krieger, Bruce deGroot, Anne Gassel and Noreen McCann). The city's 78th district, where Bruce Franks Jr. is challenging Rep. Penny Hubbard, is covered in the second article.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney

When long-time prosecutor Jennifer Joyce decided to step down, the interest in the job was clear. Three people who have worked in the circuit attorney's office and a former police officer are on the ballot.

St. Louis Sheriff

Jim Murphy has been sheriff even longer than Joyce has been prosecutor. Former deputies and an alderman are among those seeking to replace him.

St. Louis sheriff candidates compete for open seat

Donna Korando started work in journalism at SIU’s Daily Egyptian in 1968. In between Carbondale and St. Louis Public Radio, she taught high school in Manitowoc, Wis., and worked at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the copy editor and letters editor for the editorial page from 1973-77. As an editorial writer from 1977-87, she covered Illinois and city politics, education, agriculture, family issues and sub-Saharan Africa. When she was editor of the Commentary Page from 1987-2003, the page won several awards from the Association of Opinion Page Editors. From 2003-07, she headed the features copy desk.