In an election filled with contradictions, Hawley defeats Senator Claire McCaskill


Galloway is re-elected State Auditor; RTW architect Bob Onder is re-elected to the Missouri Senate


U.S. SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL thanks supporters at an election night watch party after calling Attorney General Josh Hawley to concede. – Carolina Hidalgo/St. Louis Public Radio photo

Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley unseated Democratic U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill Nov. 6 in an election that seemed to contradict everything else voters did this year.

Missouri voters this year:

  • Rejected “right-to-work” (RTW)
  • Approved a minimum wage increase.
  • Approved election reform.
  • Approved lobbying reform.

Hawley, who unseated McCaskill in a bitter campaign filled with personal attacks and provable lies by Hawley supporters:

  • Supports RTW.
  • Opposes raising the minimum wage.
  • Opposes election reform.
  • Opposes lobbying reform.

One of the greatest lies of the campaign was Hawley’s claim that he supported requiring insurance companies to provide health coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, despite being part of a lawsuit that would remove that requirement in the Affordable Care Act.

Missouri voters knew this, but voted for him anyway.

In addition, the same voters who rejected Missouri’s RTW law by defeating Prop A in August a mere three months later re-elected the architect of the anti-worker law Sen. Bob Onder (R-St. Charles), who has promised to sponsor a new RTW bill next year.

John Stiffler speculated that voters and unions lost focus after they defeated RTW (Prop A), divided their support among differing candidates. As a result he said, working people may soon find themselves fighting RTW again.

“We’re going to see it soon,” Stiffler said. “Maybe not right away, but we’re going to be seeing RTW again.”

On a positive note, State Auditor Nicole Galloway, a Democrat, beat Republican challenger Saundra McDowell to win a full term in the office she was appointed to in 2015 following the death of Thomas Schweich. With her victory, Galloway is the only Democrat remaining in statewide office in Missouri.

Missouri’s state legislative races were largely a disappointment for Labor and its endorsed candidates.

The partisan breakdown remained unchanged in both the Senate and House of Representatives, with Republicans still holding supermajorities in both.

No seats changed party hands in the Senate, where Republicans hold a 24-10 advantage.

In the House, Democrats claimed three seats from Republicans, but lost three others, leaving an unchanged partisan split of 116-47 in favor of the GOP.

The Missouri House and Senate met Nov. 8 to elect their leadership for the 2019-2020 Legislative Session. The following were the results:


  • Pro-Tem: Senator Dave Schatz (R-Sullivan)
  • Majority Floor Leader: Senator Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia)
  • Assistant Majority Floor Leader: Senator Wayne Wallingford (R-Cape Girardeau)
  • Majority Caucus Chair: Senator Dan Hegeman (R-Cosby)
  • Majority Whip: Senator Sandy Crawford (R-Buffalo)


  • Minority Floor Leader: Senator Gina Walsh (D-Bellefontaine Neighbors)
  • Assistant Minority Floor Leader: Senator Kiki Curls (D-Kansas City)
  • Minority Caucus Chair: Senator Karla May (D-St. Louis)
  • Minority Whip: Senator Jamilah Nasheed (D-St. Louis)


  • Speaker: Representative Elijah Haahr (R-Springfield)
  • Speaker Pro Tem: Representative John Wiemann (R-O’Fallon)
  • Majority Floor Leader: Representative Rob Vescovo (R-Arnold)
  • Assistant Majority Floor Leader: Representative J. Eggleston (R-Maysville)
  • Majority Whip: Representative Steve Lynch (R-Waynesville)
  • Majority Caucus Chair: Representative Sonya Anderson (R-Springfield)
  • Majority Caucus Secretary: Representative Chris Dinkins (R-Annapolis)


  • Minority Floor Leader: Representative Crystal Quade (D-Springfield)
  • Assistant Minority Floor Leader: Representative Daron McGee (D-Kansas City)
  • Minority Caucus Chair: Representative Tommie Pierson Jr. (D-St. Louis)
  • Minority Whip: Representative Brandon Ellington (D-Kansas City)


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