The crowded Missouri Senate race is officially on

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Missouri’s crowded field of U.S. Senate candidates spent the first day of the election not only handing over their documents, but also discussing why they are best suited for the job.

Republican candidates, including Attorney General Eric Schmitt, former Governor Eric Greitens, St. Louis attorney Mark McCloskey, Missouri Senate Pro Tem President Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan and U.S. Representatives Vicky Hartzler, R -Harrisonville and Billy Long, R- Springfield, all dropped off in Jefferson City on Tuesday for the August 2 primary.

Many have touted their relationship with former President Donald Trump or their agreement with his policies, but he has yet to endorse anyone in the race.

Greitens, who was the second U.S. Senate candidate to file on the Republican side after McCloskey, spoke about the support he already has, including from other Trump-supporting organizations.

“All of these fighters have supported us because they recognize that I am America’s number one candidate in this race and they recognize that we need fighters who are willing to do what it takes to take back our country,” Greitens said. .

Hartzler, who currently serves the 4th congressional district, said she spoke with Trump as recently as Monday night about the race. She said he told her she was fine.

“He said he was watching and he hadn’t decided yet, but he was watching very closely and was, as I said, very complimentary of my campaign and the work that I’ve done,” Hartzler said.

One of Hartzler’s main endorsements is that of U.S. Senator from Missouri Josh Hawley, who announced his support for her two weeks ago. Asked about the other candidates, Hartzler said if she didn’t win the primary, she would support the Republican nominee unless it was Greitens, who resigned as governor amid allegations of sexual misconduct and campaign finance fraud.

“I won’t vote for him,” Hartzler said.

Also when asked about Greitens on Tuesday, Long said it was ultimately up to the public to decide on Greitens and the other candidates.

“I want the citizens of Missouri to choose from these six candidates,” Long said.

Schmitt, who is the only candidate currently for a statewide office, said he was not bothered by Hawley’s lack of endorsement and touted his work in Missouri instead of being part of the “DC establishment”.

“A lot of people can talk about issues, we’re actually going to fight these fights and I’m going to continue to do so in the Senate,” Schmitt said.

McCloskey, who, along with his wife, pointed guns at anti-police brutality protesters passing his St. Louis home, said after filing that the next step was to reach out to voters.

“We’re going to go from county to county talking to as many human beings as possible. I have this new concept, having never been a politician, that if I want to represent the people of Missouri, I have to ask them what they think,” McCloskey said.

Schatz filed later Tuesday than the other leading Republican candidates and could not be immediately reached for comment because he was in the Senate.

On the Democratic side, Navy veteran Lucas Kunce, former state senator Scott Sifton and businessman Spencer Toder were among the candidates who were also in Jefferson City early Tuesday morning to file their case.

Kunce has been a leader in fundraising for the Senate seat, raising more than $2.4 million as of Dec. 31.

“We closed the polls gap because that’s what the people of Missouri want. They want to change who has power, and they want people who represent them rather than these huge corporations tearing us apart,” Kunce said.

All candidates who file on the first day draw a lottery number that determines their placement on a ballot. After that, applicants will be ranked by filing day order.

Unknown boundaries are not a major deterrent

The deadlock in the Missouri Senate over congressional redistricting means those districts have not been settled. Additionally, state senate candidates will have to wait for a panel of judges to draw their districts.

Although they don’t know what their constituencies will look like, candidates are running for those seats.

Missouri House Rep. Sara Walsh, R-Ashland, was second in line Tuesday and is running to replace Hartzler in the 4th congressional district. She said while it would have been nice to have some clarity on what her finalized district would look like, she’s also a supporter of a 7-1 majority Republican map.

“Sending another curator to Washington, DC is close to my heart and sometimes it takes time to get good results,” Walsh said.

State Sen. Bill White, R-Joplin, who is running for re-election, said he will run whether the map is over or not, but does not see his district becoming more competitive.

“Southwestern Missouri is a very Republican area,” White said.

One person a completed card has impacted is former Missouri House Democratic Rep. Deb Lavender of Kirkwood, who is running for her fourth term in the House, but in a new district. She said knowing exactly what this district would look like played a role in her decision to file a case.

“It was really good timing for the cards to be completed and I had a good chance to watch and see that it aligns with who I am and where I want to race,” Lavender said.

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft said moving the main date or extending the filing period are possibilities if the cards are not finalized in time.

“If they pass a map next week, they don’t need to extend the ranking. If they pass a map on the last day of March, well yes, then they have to extend the submission. But that’s fine walk,” Ashcroft said.

Brian Munoz

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St. Louis Public Radio

Candidates wait to enter the northeast building of the St. Louis County Government Center on Tuesday, filing day, in St. Ann.

Counties of Saint-Louis and Saint-Charles

There were no major surprises in St. Louis County, where the offices of county executive, district attorney and odd county council districts are on the ballot.

Democratic County Executive Sam Page and his main Republican challenger, State Rep. Shamed Dogan of Ballwin, submitted their paperwork on the first day.

The 2022 campaign is Page’s second in two years for the county executive – he is seeking his first full term in office following the resignation of Steve Stenger.

“We’ve certainly had an interesting couple of years,” he said. “But we have a lot of complex issues in St. Louis County, and I can’t wait to get to work. There are a lot of opportunities here, and I think the county is moving in the right direction.

Dogan said his candidacy was aimed at bringing change to St. Louis County.

“I look forward to having a discussion about issues like crime, getting our economy back on track and supporting our parents,” he said.

Dogan is no stranger to filing for candidacy, having run for state representative four times. He said the process in the county — he was one of only two candidates for the Board of Elections seat in St. Ann around 10:30 a.m. — is much calmer than at the state level, where sometimes hundreds of candidates line up on the first day.

Neither Page nor Dogan are expected to face a major challenge.

After a primary heated in 2018Nor is prosecutor Wesley Bell expected to face a serious challenge in the primary or general election. But Bell said that would not change the way he campaigns.

St. Louis County Executive Sam Page pulls a blue egg from a pin.

Brian Munoz

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St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County Executive Sam Page, alongside his wife, Jenny, draws a numbered egg as part of a campaign lottery Tuesday during drop-off day at the Northeast Building of the County Government Center from St. Louis to St. Ann.

“We’re going to keep getting our message across, and to be quite frank, we never stopped,” he said. “We created a community engagement unit just so our residents knew what we were doing.”

St. Louis County’s most competitive primary will likely be in the council’s 1st District, where Jennings Councilman Terry Wilson is challenging Rita Heard Days, the current president. Both are Democrats and the district is heavily Democratic, making the August primary winner the likely November winner.

Wilson called himself the person to move north-central St. Louis County in a new direction.

“I was recruited by the community to lead because they said they wanted new energy, a new face, new ideas and someone who could work with everyone,” Wilson said. “And I proved that I could work with anyone.”

Days said her long career in politics made her the best choice.

“I’ve been doing this for a little while, and I kinda know the ropes,” she said. “But ultimately it will be the decision of the citizens and what they want.”

Days and Page were the first two candidates for the door. Days said with the county council due to meet on Tuesday evening, she wanted to take care of the paperwork sooner.

In St. Charles County, a potentially contentious race is looming in the Republican primary for county executive. Incumbent Steve Ehlmann faces a challenge from State Sen. Bob Onder, an outspoken member of the conservative Senate caucus.

Filing for the August primary closes at 5 p.m. on March 29.

Follow Sarah Kellogg on Twitter: @sarahkkellogg

Follow Rachel Lippmann on Twitter: @rlippmann

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