How Labor-endorsed candidates fared locally


2016-ButtonWorkers turned their backs on COPE-endorsed leaders and legislators who would have supported issues, in Missouri, Illinois and in Washington, that would have helped working families by fighting for worker-friendly laws.

An overview of how COPE-endorsed candidates did:


  • Missouri statewide: All five top Democratic contenders — governor, lieutenant governor, treasurer, secretary of state and attorney general — lost, providing a clean sweep for Republicans.

The hope that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Koster would provide a worker safety net veto against RTW coming out of a Republican-controlled legislature was quashed.

President-elect Donald Trump’s coattails were long enough to destroy bids by Koster, Russ Carnahan (lt. governor), Robin Smith (secretary of state), Judy Baker (treasurer) and Teresa Hensley (attorney general).

  • Missouri House and Senate, 70 out of 106 COPE-endorsed candidates statewide won (66 percent), including 34 out of 55 in the Greater St. Louis area (62 percent).
  • U.S. Senate: Democrat Jason Kander, Missouri’s current secretary of state, lost his bid to unseat incumbent Republican Senator Roy Blunt. (See related story on page 8.)
  • U.S. House: Only two of eight COPE-endorsed candidates for the U.S. House won (25 percent): St. Louis’ Lacy Clay in the 1st District and Emanuel Cleaver (Kansas City) in the 5th District.
  • Voting rights: Over 200,000 Missourians potentially will lose their vote with the passage of Constitutional Amendment 6 that will require a state-issued photo-ID to vote. This was a solution in search of a problem that doesn’t exist (voter fraud) but instead will severely impact the elderly and minorities, i.e. Democrats. It’s one of those “sounds great” laws that will intentionally do more harm to democracy than the voters realized, and will impact future elections in favor of Republicans to the disadvantage of working families.


Illinois didn’t fare much better.

  • Illinois statewide: The only statewide candidate to win was Susan Mendoza (D), who unseated incumbent Leslie Munger (R) for state comptroller.
  • Illinois House and Senate: 38 of 71 COPE endorsed candidates won (54 percent), including five House candidates from southern Illinois.
  • U.S. Senate: One victory: Tammy Duckworth (D) unseated incumbent Mark Kirk (R).
  • U.S. House: Two victories: Raja Krishnamoorthi (D) beat Pete DiCianni (R) in the 8th District and Brad Schneider (D) defeated incumbent Robert Dold (R) in the 10th District.



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