Beck wins election to Missouri Senate
By TIM ROWDEN
Labor-endorsed Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway lost her bid for Missouri Governor Nov. 3 to incumbent Mike Parson.
Galloway won in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, Kansas City and Columbia, but Parson locked in the rural vote in outstate Missouri, continuing the longstanding and growing divide between urban and rural voters in the state.
Republican incumbents also held onto the statewide offices of lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state and treasurer.
Galloway spoke at the Tiger Hotel in Columbia on Election Night and congratulated Parson on his victory. She also thanked her supporters for their efforts and urged them to stay involved.
“While this campaign is over, our work continues,” Galloway said, noting that she has two years left on her term as auditor. “We have to continue to organize, advocate and fight to ensure that our leaders put the needs of working families first and act with urgency to address the profound challenges this state faces.”
Parson, who became governor in June of 2018 following the resignation of scandal-plagued Eric Greitens, will now serve a full four-year term.
That’s not good news for Organized Labor. Parson has said he will sign an anti-union “right-to-work” (RTW) bill if it reaches his desk, despite Missouri voters’ overwhelming rejection of the deceptive anti-union measure in 2018. With Republicans still holding majorities in the Missouri House and Senate, the potential for another RTW bill in the near future looms large.
Supporters of fair, non-partisan legislative districts were also dealt a blow last week as Amendment 3 – the Republican-backed measure to roll back the voter approved redistricting reforms of 2018’s Clean Missouri amendment – confused enough voters to win approval, opening the door to continued partisan gerrymandering of state legislative districts.
“Politicians’ lies and deception appear to have been effective enough to pass Amendment 3,” the Clean Missouri campaign said of the election outcome. “Thousands of volunteers from across the state and across the political spectrum have been working for years to pass and then defend fair redistricting rules in our constitution, and today we came up short.
“Nevertheless, we are committed to ensuring as fair an outcome as possible when new maps are drawn in 2021,” the campaign said. “Amendment 3 was written to allow for truly radical gerrymandering, but it does not require it. The broad, bipartisan coalition that passed the Clean Missouri Amendment will be active and engaged in the 2021 redistricting process to ensure that voters and communities come first in new maps, not politicians.”
BECK WINS STATE SENATE
There were bright spots in the election.
Labor’s own Doug Beck, a member of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 562, handily won his bid for state Senate in the 1st District, a critical race to ensure union members have a voice in the Missouri Senate and General Assembly.
Beck will replace longtime friend of Labor Scott Sifton, who is term-limited out this year.
Beck won by a double-digit margin, but cautioned that heavy losses for Democrats in other state and national races means the road ahead will not be easy.
“We may have won our race, but it was a rough night for Democrats in Missouri,” Beck said in a statement to supporters on his Facebook page.
“Republicans will now hold all statewide seats and retain their legislative super-majority in Missouri. Amendment 3 passed, undoing the work we did with CLEAN Missouri in 2018. Although things look hopeful for the White House, Democrats nationally lost House seats and will likely not take back the Senate this year.
“Because we won, we now have the job of building the kind of Missouri and United States that we’d like to see. There’s a lot of work to be done, but I know that with your help we can make a difference.”
In another victory, Democrat Cori Bush, a registered nurse, community activist, mother and pastor, clinched her election in Missouri’s 1st Congressional District, making history as the first Black woman to represent Missouri in Congress after garnering a whopping 84 percent of the vote.
A vocal supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, Bush became politically active in the 2014 protests over the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson. Her platform includes Medicare for all, $15 federal minimum wage and the previously mentioned criminal justice reform.
“I will be the first woman to represent Missouri’s First District in its 173 year history,” Bush posted on Twitter. “We have seen a 74 percent increase in women voters here since 2016. Representation matters. A system that works for everyone matters.”
As a registered nurse, Bush also pointed to the bravery of essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. “I am the first nurse going to Congress from Missouri – in the middle of a pandemic. Nurses all across the country have risked their lives to save others,” Bush tweeted. “Working-class people need representatives who look like them and who have experienced their struggles. I am that champion.”
In the 2nd District, Labor-endorsed Democrat Jill Schupp (D) was unable to unseat incumbent Republican Ann Wagner, despite heavy support from an army of union volunteers.
“This is not the outcome we would have hoped for,” Schupp said in a statement to her supporters.
“These are painful, divided times for our state and our nation. The partisan bickering and name calling must come to an end,” she said. “It is incumbent upon our leaders to reach across the aisle and work for the people who have been elected to represent them. This race might be over, but what our campaign stood for will endure. Being your nominee has been the greatest honor of my life, and my commitment to protecting people with pre-existing conditions, making our communities safer from gun violence, and creating an economy that works for all of us remains steadfast.”
Labor-endorsed candidates in the 3rd, 4th and 8th congressional districts also were unable to unseat their incumbent Republican opponents.
CITY OF ST. LOUIS
Labor-endorsed candidates fared better in the City of St. Louis.
Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner (D) easily won her bid for re-election, as did City Treasurer Tishaura Jones (D) and Sheriff Vernon Betts (D).
ST. LOUIS COUNTY
St. Louis County Executive Sam Page (D) cruised to election to his first full term with strong Labor support. Page was plucked from the County Council in April 2019 to fulfill the term of former county executive Steve Stenger, after Stenger was indicted on charges of bribery and mail fraud.
Page has been a steadfast friend of Labor. He signed an ordinance last year requiring all projects using county tax incentives to pay prevailing wage, and created the position of Prevailing Wage Enforcement Coordinator to ensure compliance with prevailing wage laws across county government.
“With the election behind us, it’s time to talk about what we have in common, a vision of a vibrant, successful, safe St. Louis County,” Page said in a Facebook live stream on election night.
“I’ll be spending the next two years focused on those strengths and especially on ensuring people across the county – regardless of your race, gender, zip code and tax bracket – have access to good paying jobs, good healthcare, good childcare, good recreation and a safe neighborhood.”
In St. Louis County Council races, 2nd District Councilwoman Kelli Dunaway (D) was re-elected, and Shalonda Webb (D) was elected to the Council’s 4th District.
In the Council’s 6th District, which the St. Louis Labor Council left open, incumbent Republican Ernie Trakas defeated Democrat Bob Burns.
How Labor-endorsed candidates fared in the Missouri Legislature
It was a tough year for Labor-endorsed candidates in Missouri, but all was not lost. Here’s a look at the successful Labor-backed candidates in the Missouri Legislature. Incumbents are marked with an asterisk (*).
• Democrat Doug Beck, 1st District
• Republican Elaine Gannon, 3rd District
• Democrat Steve Roberts,5th District
• Democrat Angela Walton Mosley,13th District
MISSOURI HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
• Republican Jeff Porter, 42nd District
• Democrat Marlene Terry, 66th District
• Democrat Neil Smith, 67th District
• Democrat Jay Mosley,* 68th District
• Democrat Gretchen Bangert,* 69th District.
• Democrat Paula Brown,* 70th District
• Democrat LaDonna Appelbaum,* 71st District
• Democrat Doug Clemens,* 72nd District
• Democrat Raychel Proudie,* 73rd District
• Democrat Mike Person,* 74th District
• Democrat Alan Gray,* 75th District
• Democrat Marlon Anderson, 76th District
• Democrat Kimberly-Ann Collins, 77th District
• Democrat Rasheen Aldridge,* 78th District
• Democrat LaKeySha Bosley,* 79th District
• Democrat Peter Merideth,* 80th District
• Democrat Steven Butz,* 81st District
• Democrat Donna Baringer,* 82nd District
• Democrat Jo Doll, 83rd District
• Democrat Wiley Price,* 84th District
• Democrat Kevin Windham, Jr.,* 85th District
• Democrat Joe Adams,* 86th District
• Democrat Ian Mackey,* 87th District
• Democrat Tracy McCreery,* 88th District
• Democrat Barbara Phifer, 90th District
• Democrat Sarah Unsicker,* 91st District
• Democrat Michael Burton, 92nd District
• Democrat Bridget Walsh Moore, 93rd District
• Democrat Trish Gunby,* 99th District
• Republican Shane Roden,* 111th District
• Republican Becky Ruth,* 114th District
• Republican Cyndi Buchheit Courtway, 115th District
• Republican Mike Henderson,* 117th District
• Republican Nate Tate,* 119th District