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2020 Missouri Primary Recap

Published on August 6, 2020

Missouri’s primary elections took place on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. In addition to choosing party candidates for statewide and local elections, voters also determined via ballot initiative if Missouri would adopt Medicaid Expansion through the Affordable Care Act. 

Ballot Initiative

The Medicaid Expansion ballot initiative passed by a vote of approximately 53% in favor and 47% opposed. With this vote, Missouri becomes the 38th state to adopt Medicaid expansion through the Affordable Care Act. States that have already expanded Medicaid have seen significant increases in access to healthcare and decreased mortality rates; however, opponents of expansion are concerned with potential impacts of Medicaid expansion on the state budget. For a more comprehensive overview of the science and economics behind Medicaid expansion, check out our science note

Federal Elections

Incumbents held their seats in 7 of the 8 congressional districts, with the exception of District 1 (St. Louis area), currently held by Rep. William Lacy Clay. Clay was defeated by Cori Bush, a long-time Black Lives Matter activist, in a defeat that the Washington Post says “reflects leftward lurch and generational change inside the Democratic Party.” In a district that is strongly Democratic, Bush is poised to become the first Black woman to represent Missouri in Congress. 

Statewide Elections

Governor Mike Parson and Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe claimed the Republican nominations for their respective positions. Parson will be challenged by Democratic State Auditor Nicole Galloway. Former Kansas City councilwoman, Alissa Canady, will challenge Kehoe for Lt. Governor. If Canady wins in November, she will be the first woman of color elected to statewide office in Missouri history. 

Missouri Senate Races

Missouri senators may serve up to two 4-year terms. This year, half of the senators, those in odd districts, are up for re-election, including Senate Majority Floor Leader, Sen. Caleb Rowden (SD-19), and Senate Minority Leader, Sen. John Rizzo (SD-11). Four candidates will run unopposed in November - Elaine Gannon (SD-3), Rizzo, Jason Bean (SD-25), and Mike Moon (SD-29). 

Term-limited representative Holly Rehder from Sikeston, MO narrowly defeated term-limited representative Kathy Swan for the Republican nomination in SD-27. Several formal members of the house will be running for Senate seats in November, including Greg Razer (SD-7), Barbara Washington (SD-9), and Karla Eslinger (SD-33), among others. Democratic Rep. Deb Lavender will challenge Republican incumbent Sen. Andrew Koenig for SD-15.   

Missouri House Races

All 163 members of the Missouri House of Representatives are up for re-election in 2020. Members of the House are able to serve four 2-year terms. Several legislators will be term-limited at the end of 2020, including House Speaker Elijah Haahr (HD-134), leaving their seats open to new leadership. Nearly half of the candidates, 28 Democrats, and 51 Republicans will run unopposed on the November ballot. 

For full election results, visit the Missouri Secretary of State’s website

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