Voters pick mostly Dems in statewide races

Four Democrats and one Republican were elected statewide.
Democratic Governor-elect Jay Nixon waves to an estimated crowd of 1,500 supporters after delivering his victory speech at The Pageant in St. Louis. Nixon defeated Republican Kenny Hulshof with nearly 60 percent of the vote.

Missouri airtime focused on Barack Obama's presidential win, but voters decided a slew of Missouri statewide races Tuesday night.

Both competing incumbents, Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder and Democratic Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, won their bids for re-election. For the first time in 15 years, a Republican lieutenant governor and Democratic governor will govern Missouri together, as Democrat Jay Nixon will be Missouri's next governor.

Democrats Chris Koster and Clint Zweifel will serve as Missouri's next attorney general and treasurer, respectively.

At the beginning of the race for Missouri's next attorney general, it was difficult to find a point of contention between Republican candidate and Senate President Pro Tem Mike Gibbons and Koster.

It was a race of small degrees of difference and small degrees of separation. Koster switched parties, from Republican to Democrat, less than a year ago and had often worked with Gibbons on legislation.

The topic of experience, or rather which type of experience, was the key divider in the race. Koster highlighted his prosecutorial experience against Gibbons' managerial skills, eventually winning the majority of Missouri voters in a tight 52.7 percent to 47.3 percent result.

Zweifel, a representative from St. Louis County, defeated Sen. Brad Lager, R-Maryville, to become Missouri treasurer by 50.2 percent to 47.4 percent.

Zweifel won Boone County by an even larger margin, 54.1 percent to 43.1 percent.

"He's going to go over everything in the office and look to see what needs improvement," campaign spokesman Patrick Lynn said.

As treasurer, Zweifel said he hopes to provide property tax relief, make the fiscal case for health care and make higher education more affordable.

Zweifel replaces former Republican gubernatorial candidate Sarah Steelman, who has served as treasurer since 2005.

In the lieutenant governor's race, Kinder has spent the last four years working out of Missouri's Capitol and he will continue to do so for the next four. Kinder defeated Democratic opponent Sam Page 50.1 to 47.1 percent.

"The voters of Missouri had their say tonight," campaign spokesman Gary McElyea said. "I think Lt. Gov. Kinder's track record of accountable government and conservative values won out."

In his second term, Kinder has pledged to continue advocating for senior citizens and Missouri veterans, expanding tourism and defending the second amendment.

One of Missouri's most influential political families is celebrating a victory tonight. Incumbent Democrat Robin Carnahan was re-elected as secretary of state with more than 60 percent of the vote.

Boone County voted 66.3 percent in favor of Carnahan, with 35.9 percent of the vote going to under-funded Republican opponent Mitch Hubbard.

"We're very pleased that such an overwhelming percentage of Missourians supported Secretary Carnahan through the election and supported the things that she's doing, the common sense reforms that she's brought to the secretary of state's office to help small business owners, investors and Missourians from every corner of the state," spokesman Tony Wyche said.

Carnahan's Republican opponent, Mitch Hubbard of Fulton, said he was grateful for his supporters.

"I'd just like to say thank you to all those who supported our campaign and I encourage Secretary Carnahan to lead with integrity and do her job at her best," Hubbard said.

 

— Maneater reporters Kelsey Proud, Scott Kanowsky and Lindsay Eanet contributed to this report.

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