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Examiner
  • Akin, prayer amendment prevail in state election

  • Missouri Republicans elevated U.S. Rep. Todd Akin to a Senate showdown against incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill on Tuesday, and also endorsed a state constitutional amendment that permits public prayer and allows students to avoid assignments which violate their religious beliefs.

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  • Missouri Republicans elevated U.S. Rep. Todd Akin to a Senate showdown against incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill on Tuesday, and also endorsed a state constitutional amendment that permits public prayer and allows students to avoid assignments which violate their religious beliefs.
    Republicans chose Dave Spence to take on incumbent Gov. Jay Nixon in November. Spence turned back a field of several Republicans after waging a campaign that highlighted his private-sector experience.
    Voters also nominated several sitting members of Congress seeking two-year return trips to Washington, though a familiar political name in the state – Russ Carnahan – was not among the winners.
    The statewide ballot measure on prayer followed similar debates by Missouri lawmakers in recent years. The current measure easily cleared the state House and the Senate last year, and voters overwhelmingly gave their blessing.
    In the hotly contested GOP primary for U.S. Senate, Akin toppled Sarah Steelman and John Brunner for the right to face McCaskill.
    Among the numerous primaries for statewide and congressional seats, Ed Martin won the Republican primary for attorney general and Susan Montee won the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor. Peter Kinder edged Brad Lager in the Republican primary for lieutenant governor. In the GOP secretary of state race, Shane Schoeller led Scott Rupp and Bill Stouffer late Tuesday night.
    Eight members of Congress from Missouri were also on Tuesday’s ballot seeking return trips to Washington. Because of new congressional district boundaries, one of those incumbents is losing his seat.
    Two congressional incumbents – Republican Blaine Luetkemeyer in the 3rd District and Democrat Emanuel Cleaver in the 5th District – were unopposed, while Republican incumbents Vicky Hartzler, Sam Graves won their party primaries. Cleaver will run against Jacob Turk, who won his fourth straight Republican primary. Graves will  face the winner of a Tuesday’s four-way Democratic primary along with Libertarian Party nominee Russ Lee Monchil of Cameron.
    Registered voters were able to choose a ballot for any political party or ask for a ballot that merely poses questions about issues, such as the prayer amendment.
    Turnout early Tuesday was reportedly light in Kansas City, where Shawn Kieffer, Republican director of elections for the Kansas City Election Board, had expected a turnout of about 15 percent. Based on early numbers, he thought the final figure would be closer to 10 percent or 12 percent of the 215,000 registered voters in his jurisdiction.
    Gary Stoff, Republican director for the St. Louis Board of Elections, said city election officials were expecting turnout near 25 percent.

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