Election Day 2018 is over and TV viewers can finally find relief from those annoying political ads.
Here in Missouri, voters chose to show our incumbent Democrat U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill the door and welcome a new Republican Senator Josh Hawley.
Missouri voters also approved the use of medical marijuana, eased restrictions on bingo, agreed to raise the minimum wage and refused to raise the gas tax.
There were two local contested races.
Republican Barry Hovis defeated Democrat Gayla Dace 15,264 (81.9 percent) to 3,373 (18.1 percent) to take over Donna Lichtenegger’s Dist. 146 seat in the Missouri House of Representatives. (Lichtenegger was term-limited out of office.)
Republican Barbara Gholson will be the new collector of revenue in Cape Girardeau County as Diane Diebold retires. Gholson received 21,394 votes (67.7 percent) while Democrat Carrie M. Robert received 10,178 votes (32.2 percent).
In Cape Girardeau’s Dist. 147, Incumbent Republican Kathy Swan received 8,601 votes (64.8 percent), defeating Democrat Renita Green, who received 4,667 votes (35.1 percent).
Missouri’s Democrat U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill was unseated by Republican challenger (and the state’s attorney general) Josh Hawley in Tuesday’s election 1,245,732 (51.4 percent) to 1,101,377 (45.5 percent) votes.
Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Jason Smith handily defeated his opponents in Congressional Dist. 8. Smith garnered 190,826 votes (73.4 percent), while Democrat Kathy Ellis received 65,043 votes (25 percent) and Libertarian Jonathan Shell received 4,148 votes (1.6 percent).
“Tonight Missouri sent a loud and clear message in support of the values President Trump and I talked about in Cape Girardeau on Monday night,” said Smith, referring to the Nov. 5 rally at the Show Me Center. “They voted for continuing the economic successes of the last two years, for allowing farmers and workers to keep more of their pay, for limiting the size of government, and for protecting the right and liberties guaranteed to all Missourians by the United States Constitution.
“The past two years have been an incredible journey working with President Trump to change the culture in Washington and return the power to the people of Missouri, but our mission is just beginning.
“I want to thank southern Missouri for giving me the honor of continuing to fight for them in the United States Congress and representing the area where seven generations of my family have called home.
“I’m forever humbled that a farm kid from Salem, Missouri, can stand alongside our President to defend our conservative values and protect our rural way of life.”
Democrat State Auditor Nicole Galloway held onto her position, garnering 1,197,020 votes (50 percent). Her closest challenger in a field of five (plus one write-in candidate) was Republican Saundra McDowell, who received 1,060,066 votes (44.6 percent).
Constitutional Amendment 1 (“Clean Missouri”) passed overwhelmingly, 1,459,576 (62 percent) to 895,012 (38 percent) votes.
“We are thrilled that Republicans, Democrats, and independents came together to clean up Missouri politics,” said Nimrod “Rod” Chapel, Jr, president of the NAACP Missouri State Chapter and treasurer of Clean Missouri. “Thousands of Missourians from across the state came together to put Amendment 1 on the ballot, and then thousands more joined the fight to pass Amendment 1. It’s truly a great day for Missouri.”
Amendment 1 will:
• Eliminate all lobbyist gifts in the General Assembly worth more than $5;
• Require that legislative meetings and records be open to the public;
• Ensure that neither political party is given an unfair advantage when new maps are drawn after the next census, while keeping districts compact and contiguous, following city and county lines when possible, and strengthening protections for minority representation;
• Lower campaign contribution limits for state legislative candidates and close some big money loopholes;
• Stop politicians from becoming lobbyists for two years after leaving the legislature.
Provisions will take effect upon official certification of the results. The redistricting reform, requiring more fair and competitive maps, will be in effect when state legislative maps are next drawn, after the 2020 census. U.S. law requires new maps to be drawn after each census.
Constitutional Amendment 2, legalizing marijuana for medical purposes and imposing a four percent sales tax, passed, having received 1,572,592 (66 percent) Yes votes and 826,777 (34 percent) No votes.
Constitutional Amendment 3, which would have legalized medical use of marijuana and imposed a 15 percent sales tax, failed on a vote of 747,977 (31 percent) Yes votes compared to 1,631,228 (69 percent) No votes.
Bingo operations will become easier with the passage of Constitutional Amendment 4 that eased some regulations on that game.
The amendment received 1,186,642 Yes votes (52 percent) and 1,079,356 No votes (48 percent).
Proposition B, which will raise the minimum wage in Missouri to $8.60 per hour and increase it 85 cents per hour each year until 2023, when it will be $12 an hour, passed overwhelmingly. There were 1,488,368 Yes votes (62 percent) and 901,808 No votes (38 percent).
Proposition C, which would have legalized marijuana for personal use, failed by a vote of 1,031,371 Yes votes (43.5 percent) to 1,339,299 No votes (56.5 percent).
MoDOT and the Highway Patrol will have to get along on their current budgets, as voters refused to raise the gas tax in Missouri. Proposition D failed 1,101,830 Yes votes (46.4 percent) to 1,274,099 No votes (53.6 percent).