For what they are worth, here are my picks for the August 2 GOP primary election. There are several interesting races with big contrasts, so this is one worth showing up for. I omitted the US Senate and House races (though I think anti-incumbent message votes may be appropriate) and the associate judge race from this listing.
Governor: Eric Greitens. He has an accomplished record of military service, charitable service, leadership, and international experience. He has made cleaning up Missouri politics a major point of his campaign, and some tactics we’ve seen in this campaign show how much that is needed. While some question his conservatism, as he was a Democrat in the past, he has explained why he converted, and I see no reason to doubt him. The perfect replacement for bumbling governor Nixon and his lack of leadership.
Lt. Governor: Bev Randles. I like her record with the Missouri Club for Growth, where she was elbows deep in Missouri issues and the conservative solutions we need to enact. Along with Greitens, she is another fresh, inspirational face in Missouri politics. Her opponent, Mike Parson, has received lots of lobbyist gifts and helped fight ethics reform in the state Senate this year.
Attorney General: Josh Hawley. He has been the subject of vicious, totally bogus attacks from opponent Kurt Schaefer. Former Senator Jack Danforth said one such attack was “an intentional and malicious misstatement of fact.” Let’s not reward such attacks. Hawley’s harshest attack is that Schaefer is a moderate, since that’s what he once called himself. Hawley is a constitutional lawyer who teaches at Mizzou and worked on the Hobby Lobby Obamacare case.
Secretary of State: Will Kraus. A senator with a solid record who serves in the Missouri National Guard and led the push for a voter ID law, part of which is ready for a veto override and part of which will be on the November ballot. His opponent, Jay Ashcroft, seems to have used his name and connections to travel from big defense contractor to big shot law firm during his career. I’m not a big fan of political legacies.
JeffCo Sheriff: Sean Cooper. I think the JeffCo Sheriff’s Office is ready for some outside leadership after the long reign of Glenn Boyer. Cooper is the only candidate who does not currently work for the JeffCo sheriff. He showed high courage and integrity when he was a Festus cop a decade ago after a drunken driving incident involving a judge that he refused to help cover up (I will write about this shortly). He has also expressed strong support for constitutional rights. He is currently second in command to the sheriff in Madison County.
JeffCo Treasurer: Mark Paul. I think he has best articulated his goals for transparency and efficiency in this office, recognizing the limits of the office’s powers but pledging to do what he can to improve its operations. One of his opponents, Ken Horton, won this primary in 2012 against county executive Ken Waller’s wife Trina, but lost the general election by 1,600 votes.
JeffCo Assessor: Bob Boyer. He has a record of small government conservatism on the county council, and he will bring this to the assessor’s office.
County Council District 4: Charles Groteke. This is close to a toss up, but I think Groeteke is working harder in this race, and opponent George Engelbach has been missing meetings in recent months. The winner of this matchup will have to face a harsh, perhaps underhanded campaign from former legislator Jeff Roorda in November, and I think Groeteke will be best equipped for that. This is a rematch of 2012, when Groeteke was the incumbent and lost to Engelbach by 4 votes.
Council District 6: Kevin Weaver. I like his focus on business and jobs.
House District 111: Jason Jarvis. I am not that impressed with incumbent representative Shane Roden, who focuses mainly on niche issues like motorcycle helmets and saying the pledge in schools. Jarvis has wide experience, and he is focused on serious issues like heroin and business.
Prop V (in the county and various cities): Yes. This just levels the playing field between in-state and out-of-state car dealers in terms of sales taxes paid.