There were few local surprises in Tuesday’s primary election. The contested races were mostly on the Republican ballot and the outcomes were, for the most part, predictable.
The GOP races for first and second district county commissioner seats provided the most intrigue.
The first district race was expected to be decided by a few hundred votes or less and Washington Councilman Tim Brinker prevailed by 359 votes over incumbent Terry Wilson.
Give Brinker credit, he worked the hardest. His decked-out campaign RV was obnoxious and omnipresent at the same time. Brinker hustled his way to a victory. It will be interesting to see how he handles the County Commission’s regular critics. If his demeanor on the Washington City Council is any indication, he will probably be less tolerant than the person he is replacing.
Speaking of critics, the legal action Ron Keeven filed against the commission earlier this year cost him votes — at least that is what we are hearing. Keeven came in last in the four-candidate race.
Michael Schatz’s victory in the second district commissioner race was a surprise to some. Gary Young, who finished second, was popular and ran a good campaign. Schatz is a good guy and will be a good commissioner if he prevails in November.
Debbie Aholt’s narrow victory — less than a 100 votes — over Greg Toelke for county treasurer raised a few eyebrows. Many felt Toelke had more name power.
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Peter Kinder’s lopsided win in Franklin county over challenger Brad Lager in the Lt. Governor’s race was interesting and probably a reflection of how visible he has been here over the years. Kinder took 49.19% of the vote to Lager’s 35.29%. The race was much tighter statewide.
John Brunner narrowly edged Todd Akin in the U.S. Senate race in Franklin county which was no surprise as Brunner campaigned hard here. Akin won the state overall to earn the right to take on Claire McCaskill in the general election.
Speaking of McCaskill, she was back in Washington (the real Washington) at Joe’s Bakery on Main Street last Saturday for a canvass kickoff to fire up campaign volunteers before they dispersed throughout the county to knock on doors and make face-to-face contact with voters. The Daily Beast reported that not even 24 hours after Akin won the GOP primary, McCaskill launched a website dedicated to highlighting what she is calling Akin’s extreme views. McCaskill wanted Akin as her opponent. She believes she can paint him as too out-of-step with most Missourians. We'll see.
Just moments after the election results were in, The New York Times called McCaskill “the nation’s most endangered Senate Democrat.”
McCaskill is perhaps the most conservative Democrat in the Senate. Akin is one of the most, if not the most, conservative Republican in the House. We will find out in November just how conservative the Show-Me state really is.