Voters in Missouri are picking a new U.S. Senator and weighing in on recreational marijuana. This is also an important election in St. Louis County and the City of St. Louis, where leaders are hoping for a large midterm turnout.
When/where to vote in Missouri
Polls will be open for in-person voting from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8. Before you go, make sure to verify your voter registration status and find your designated polling location before Nov. 8 to avoid any unexpected issues.
To cast your ballot on Election Day, Missouri law now requires you to show an acceptable form of photo identification. If you’re a registered voter but don’t bring a photo ID with you, you may cast a provisional ballot instead. Provisional ballots will be only counted if you return later that day with an ID or if election officials verify your signature.
As part of its 2022 LyftUp Voting Access Program, Lyft announced it would offer free and discounted rides across the country on Election Day.
Can’t make it to the polls on Election Day?
Mailed or faxed absentee ballot requests must be received by your county clerk’s office by 5 p.m. Oct. 26. Completed ballots must be received by your local election authority on Election Day.
Missouri voters can cast a no-excuse, in-person absentee ballot between Oct. 25 and Nov. 7 at a location designated by their local election authority. Voters must show a government-issued photo ID.
Missouri precincts will begin reporting results after polls close at 7 p.m. For live election results, click here.
How to vote
Sen. Roy Blunt retires
U.S. Senator Roy Blunt’s decision to retire at the end of his term created an opening for a spate of new candidates to run for the seat. Missouri is one of only seven states in the nation without an incumbent running for re-election in the Senate.
Republicans nominated Attorney General Eric Schmitt out of a crowded field of primary contenders, and Democrats selected longtime party donor Trudy Busch Valentine to represent their party.
Eric Schmitt – Republican candidate
Attorney General Eric Schmitt won the Republican nomination to run for the open Senate seat in an August primary, besting former Governor Eric Greitens, Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, and a number of other candidates.
Over the course of his general election campaign, Schmitt has refused to debate his Democratic opponent and has largely avoided questions from reporters or voters in open events, opting instead for the friendly questions and reassuring support of cable news commentators and opinion hosts. Schmitt has firmly embraced an endorsement from former President Donald Trump, and trained his focus on highlighting his opponent’s privileged upbringing to paint her as out of touch with working class struggles during a period of heightened inflation.
Despite avoiding forums where he’d likely face questions about his policy positions, Schmitt still managed to garner significant “earned media” attention through lawsuits filed from his perch as the state’s top legal officer. As Attorney General, Schmitt has sued the Biden administration to block his plan to forgive student loan debts for lower-income and middle-class wage earners, sued local school districts to persuade a judge to block their pandemic safety protocols, subpoenaed schools to investigate portions of their curriculum, filed public records requests seeking records from journalism professors and students pertaining to fact checks, and appealed a court’s decision to throw out his lawsuit against the country China for lack of jurisdiction.
Schmitt’s term as Attorney General included significant rightward shifts on the state’s laws pertaining to guns and abortion. His office is currently fighting local and federal law enforcement agencies in court, defending the state’s controversial “Second Amendment Preservation Act” against police claims that it makes their jobs harder in the pursuit of suspects who used a firearm in the commission of a crime. He also enacted the state’s abortion ban on the same day the U.S. Supreme Court reversed Roe v Wade in the Dobbs decision.
Schmitt’s critics have included traditional conservatives like former Senator Jack Danforth, and John Wood, a former attorney in the Bush White House who briefly entertained a third party bid for the Senate. Wood ultimately dropped out and returned to his post on the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol.
Federal election records show Schmitt’s campaign raised $5.2 million in contributions. Other political action committees spent $8.3 million propping up Schmitt’s public image.
Trudy Busch Valentine – Democratic candidate
Trudy Busch Valentine won the Democratic party nomination to run for the open Senate seat this fall, defeating populist military veteran Lucas Kunce and progressive activist Spencer Toder in the primary race.
Valentine appeared on stage at one debate in the general election with other lesser-known third party candidates, but her Republican opponent was absent. She declined to agree to the terms of another debate with him, ending in a race for the U.S. Senate where the two major party candidates won’t appear on stage to debate their contrasting ideas. The result has been a barrage of negative ads in a push to influence voters’ opinions of their opponents.
Valentine, a registered nurse who remarried after she was widowed, has been a prolific donor to Democratic political campaigns for several years. Her wealth comes from the Anheuser-Busch family fortune, a subject that has been widely panned and criticized by her GOP rival.
Valentine regularly met with voters in town hall or roundtable forums and in open meetings across the state. She sat down for an interview with KSDK as she traveled through traditionally Republican-leaning rural counties in an RV. En route from St. Charles to Hannibal, she opened up about her encounters with grief, tragedy, and personal loss. Her first husband died and left her with six children. One of her sons later died in a drug overdose. Her campaign says those experiences galvanized her opposition to opioid addiction, and help her relate to voters.
However, as a soft-spoken, first-time candidate, Valentine hasn’t run an error-free campaign. At times, she has struggled to clearly communicate her stances on key issues, or later had to clarify what she meant to say. She appeared to need help understanding the ramifications of the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial ruling in Citizens’ United during a primary campaign event, and gave a confusing answer to questions about gender curriculum in classrooms.
Valentine has called for a ban on assault weapons and ending the Senate filibuster to codify abortion protections into federal law. On health care, she said she thinks “the public option might be a possibility,” but added “the only way we can keep expenses down is if we start keeping people healthy.”
Valentine has attacked her Republican rival for his previous votes in the Missouri legislature to allow the sale of farmland to Chinese-owned companies, claiming it puts national security at risk.
Federal election records show Busch Valentine raised more than $1.3 million for her campaign, in addition to $6.3 million she spent funding her own race.
Paul Venable – Constitution candidate
Paul Venable will represent the Constitutional Party on the ballot in Missouri’s Senate race. Venable previously ran for Secretary of State in 2020 and lost with 0.4% of the vote. His campaign website includes 19th-century quotes about American history, and calls for “defining the press” with “decency standards.”
Campaign website: youwinmissouri.org
Jonathan Dine – Libertarian candidate
Personal fitness trainer Jonathan Dine will represent the Libertarian Party on the ballot in Missouri’s Senate race, although his campaign appears dormant. Dine previously ran and lost with 6% of the vote in 2012 and 2% of the vote in 2016. He hasn’t publicly posted anything to his social media pages in years, and a campaign website for him appears to be inactive.
Three congressional districts to watch
The congressional districts around St. Louis are Missouri’s 1st Congressional District, Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District and Missouri’s 3rd Congressional District. This is the first election with new district lines in Missouri, following the 2020 Census.
Missouri’s 1st Congressional District
Republicans in the Missouri House and Senate drew new boundaries around the First Congressional District, but the partisan makeup of the voters living in it remains roughly the same. Due to the volume of Democratic-leaning voters living in this district, a Democratic win is widely expected in November.
Cori Bush – Democrat incumbent
Freshman U.S. Representative Cori Bush was elected to serve the 1st Congressional District in 2020, pulling off a political upset and toppling the Clay family dynasty that represented St. Louis in Congress for half a century. She will face voters for the first time as an incumbent.
Bush, a Ferguson activist, has formed political alliances with a progressive group of Democratic women in Congress, and refers to herself as a “politivist,” or a politician activist. Her campaign touts accomplishments that include pushing the Environmental Protection Agency to clean up radioactive waste near a St. Louis County creek, pushing for climate change action and standing against evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
She garnered nearly 70% of the vote in the Democratic primary, handily beating out state Sen. Steve Roberts, who hedged his campaign on the idea that Bush, a vocal advocate for defunding the police and moving money to social services and mental health programs, is too liberal even for heavily Democratic St. Louis.
Bush’s style of amplifying the voices of protesters in the halls of Congress has rubbed some politicians the wrong way, and yet has resonated with some grassroots activists in her district.
Campaign website: coribush.org
Andrew Jones Jr. – Republican candidate
Andrew Jones serves as the Executive Vice President of Business Development and Marketing at Southwest Electric.
He was born in Cairo, Illinois, and raised in East St. Louis, according to his campaign website. He currently lives in St. Louis’ Botanical Heights neighborhood.
Jones has a Bachelor of Science in Economics degree and a minor in Business Administration from Lincoln University, a master’s in International Business from Webster University and an MBA from Washington University’s Olin School of Business.
Jones describes himself as a business leader rather than a politician. He is anti-abortion and pro-Israel, according to his campaign website, and his other key issues include conservative fiscal policy, increased funding for police and parental rights in education.
Campaign website: andrewjonesforcongress.com
George Zsidisin – Libertarian candidate
George Zsidisin is the John W. Barriger III Professor and Director of the Supply Chain Risk and Resilience Research Institute at the University of Missouri – St. Louis.
He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he received a doctorate in business administration. In addition, he holds a master’s degree from Northern Arizona University and a bachelor’s from New Jersey City University.
According to UMSL’s website, he is one of the world’s leading scholars on supply chain risk, disruptions, and commodity price volatility management. He has published more than 80 research and practitioner articles and seven books on the subject.
A campaign website for Zsidisn appears to be inactive.
Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District
This second congressional district now covers areas south and west of the greater St. Louis area, touching St. Charles, St. Louis, Warren and Franklin counties. What was once a toss-up district now includes more reliably Republican voters. Republican Ann Wagner has been in office since 2013.
Ann Wagner – Republican incumbent
Incumbent Ann Wagner is fighting to keep her seat in the House. The Ballwin, Missouri, native has held the office since 2013 and currently serves as vice ranking member on the Financial Services and Foreign Affairs committees. She has worked in the Republican Party and on GOP campaigns since the 1990s. She also served as U.S. Ambassador to Luxemburg under former President George W. Bush.
In office, Wagner has voted along party lines on the big issues, including voting against both impeachments of former President Donald Trump. However, she did break with the GOP majority on a vote to protect interracial and same-sex marriage earlier this year.
Campaign website: annwagner.com
Trish Gunby – Democratic candidate
Democratic candidate Trish Gunby currently serves in the Missouri State House of Representatives. Gunby has represented Missouri’s 99th District, which includes Manchester, Twin Oaks and Valley Park, since 2019. She helped organized a district-wide kids voting program at Parkway Schools, was the co-leader of the West County Community Action Network’s Voting Rights Team and served as board secretary for Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice. Prior to politics, Gunby worked in project management for Citicorp and Purina.
Campaign website: trishgunby.com
Bill Slantz – Libertarian candidate
Bill Slantz is the Libertarian candidate fighting to take Wagner’s seat in the House. In 1997, he founded W.G. Slantz Company, which offers performance rights advice to music performers. According to his campaign website, Slantz believes in limited government and that no group, government or individual should be allowed to dictate or direct the life of another. If elected, his campaign website said he would immediately propose legislation dissolving the U.S. departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and Homeland Security.
Campaign website: billslantz.com
Missouri’s 3rd Congressional District
Cities in the new 3rd District map include St. Charles, parts of O’Fallon, Jefferson City, and parts of Lake Ozark, and parts of Columbia. Sections of Franklin, Lincoln and Warren counties that used to be in the 3rd District are now a part of the 2nd District. Once represented by Dick Gephardt, Missouri’s Third District leaned Democratic for decades until U.S. Rep. Luetkemeyer’s election in 2004. In 2020, voters in the district voted for former President Donald Trump by 67%.
Blaine Luetkemeyer – Republican incumbent
Blaine Luetkemeyer is seeking his seventh term in office, having represented the 3rd Congressional District since 2009. He previously served on the Missouri House of Representatives. He is a member of the House Financial Services Committee and Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions and the House Committee on Small Business.
Before the U.S. House, he served as Missouri Tourism Director. He is from Jefferson City and operates a farm.
The congressman is campaigning on job creation, cutting taxes and federal spending, and energy independence. In 2019, the U.S. House voted to re-impose net neutrality rules. Luetkemeyer voted against this regulation. Luetkemeyer twice voted against impeaching former President Donald Trump.
According to his campaign website, Luetkemeyer is strongly anti-abortion and supports second amendment rights.
Campaign website: blaineforcongress.com
Bethany Mann – Democratic candidate
Bethany Mann is a technology specialist who provides instruments, research and development, and education to various labs for research or regulatory compliance.
Mann was born in Foristell and currently lives in Brentwood, according to her campaign website. She received a bachelor’s in chemistry from the University of Illinois and started her career as an intern with the Environmental Protection Agency.
According to her campaign website, Mann advocates for voting rights and farmers’ bargaining rights and wants Missouri to invest more into education, clean energy, infrastructure and health care.
Campaign website: bethanymannforcongress.com
St. Louis County Executive:
Page running for reelection
Marketing executive Mark Mantovani, a Democrat, is rebranding himself as a Republican for a rematch with St. Louis County Executive Sam Page.
Page defeated Mantovani in the 2020 Democratic primary, but after Republican nominee Katherine Pinner abruptly quit, party officials coalesced around Mantovani as their best strategic pick to oust Page from the top job in county government.
Page entered the primary with both the benefits and the baggage of the incumbency, having come to power in the wake of a federal corruption scandal that felled his predecessor Steve Stenger. Now, federal agents are once again poking around county government offices, and have already brought criminal corruption charges against one of Page’s closest political aides.
Sam Page – Democratic incumbent
Sam Page is the incumbent St. Louis County Executive. He was elected to the position in April 2019 following a federal corruption scandal involving his predecessor, Steve Stenger. Prior to being elected as executive, Page worked on the St. Louis County Council.
Page is a medical doctor with a degree in anesthesiology. He was a full-time anesthesiologist at Mercy Hospital before taking a leave of absence to become county executive. Page is married with three sons: Jake, Luke and Logan. His wife, Jennifer, is also a practicing physician, according to the St. Louis County website.
Page focuses his re-election campaign on a few key issues such as public safety and criminal justice reform, race and gender equity, voting rights, reproductive freedom and keeping public health and top priority.
Campaign website: sampage.com
Mark Mantovani – Republican candidate
Mark Mantovani is running as the republican candidate for St. Louis County Executive. Mantovani, who previously ran against incumbent Sam Page in the 2020 Democratic Primary, changed his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican for the 2022 general election after Republican candidate Katherine Pinner dropped out of the race unexpectedly in September. The St. Louis County Republican Party Central Committee selected Mantovani as their candidate after Pinner’s resignation from the race.
RELATED: Democrat Mark Mantovani switches parties to challenge Sam Page for St. Louis County Executive job
Mantovani has been married to his wife, Patty, for 45 years. They have three children and 11 grandchildren, according to Mantovani’s campaign website. He has a law degree and a master’s degree in business administration. He has held careers in data and analytics, as a professor and he is actively engaged in civic and charitable activities, his website said.
Mantovani is focusing his campaign on key issues such as maintaining ethical leadership, creating bi-partisan cooperation and creating safe communities.
Campaign website: markforstl.com
Randall Holmes – Green Party candidate
Randall Holmes is running as the Green Party candidate for St. Louis County Executive. His campaign shows little activity.
Recreational marijuana on Missouri’s ballot
In the Nov. 8 election, Missouri voters will decide on Amendment 3, which proposes to legalize the sale of recreational marijuana and automatic expungement of criminal records for certain marijuana-related offenses. It would also establish regulations for Missouri’s recreational marijuana industry.
Visit the Secretary of State’s website for more information on statewide ballot measures certified for the Nov. 8 election.
St. Louis Board of Aldermen President:
Board members face off in special election
St. Louis voters will pick the next Board of Alderman President in a special election this fall after federal prosecutors charged former President Lewis Reed with corruption for taking bribes from developers in exchange for passing tax incentives to help their bottom line.
The undercover corruption sting sparked fierce debate at City Hall about ethics, good government, and how to allocate public resources without any real or perceived conflicts of interest.
Alderman Joe Vollmer stepped into an interim role as board president but showed no interest in running long-term. Two of his colleagues, Alderman Jack Coatar and Alderwoman Megan Green, stepped in and ran in an initial runoff election in September.
Alderman Jack Coatar, an attorney for a corporate law firm in Clayton, attracted significant backing from big businesses and downtown developers in his bid to lead the Board of Aldermen. Coatar, who was previously allied with Lewis Reed, has pledged to focus on improving the reputation at City Hall, but has also faced questions about how he managed the appearance of conflicts of interest with his clients who had business before the city. He has said he would consider stepping aside from his law firm if he wins the election, and maintains he never did anything improper in arranging meetings for his clients with the former mayor.
Coatar’s public safety message resonated with downtown business executives who see rising crime as a threat to their bottom line. Their donations have helped Coatar run campaign ads attacking his progressive rival for her prior calls to “defund the police.” Coatar also vows to improve the city’s delivery of basic services, such as picking up trash and answering emergency phone calls.
Coatar narrowly lost the September runoff election, though the election had very low voter turnout, and occurred before Coatar’s campaign went up with new ads. Former mayors Lyda Krewson, Francis Slay, and police unions are backing Coatar’s bid.
Campaign website: jackcoatar.com
Megan Ellyia Green
Alderwoman Megan Green, a progressive educator, rallied progressive activists to demand the resignation of former Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed. Green’s public calls for Reed to resign placed her at the forefront of calls to clean up corruption in city government, and in the middle of renewed debate about scrutinizing the use of public funds for private development.
Green has linked her opponent to Reed’s inner circle and said she was “appalled” at perceived conflicts Coatar had with some of his law firm’s clients.
Green has combatted Coatar’s attacks on public safety by highlighting how many law enforcement officers St. Louis already has on the force, highlighting the department’s poor rate at solving murders, and the amount of time officers spend addressing violent crime. Her public safety plan calls for greater funding for affordable housing and remaking the city budget to build out social supports and “non-police emergency response systems.”
Green has been steeped in city politics and has more experience in city-wide races. Voters may be more familiar with her after she previously ran for Board of Aldermen President and finished 144 votes behind former state Senator Jamilah Nasheed and 1,548 votes behind Lewis Reed in a close three-way race. Green also finished runner-up in a 2020 race against Steve Roberts for a seat in the Missouri State Senate.
Mayor Tishaura Jones, labor unions, and progressive activism groups are backing Green’s bid.
Campaign website: green4stl.com
Other statewide and local races on the ballot
Democratic Auditor Nicole Galloway, who has said she won’t run for reelection in 2022.
Scott Fitzpatrick – Republican candidate
State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick was appointed as state treasurer by Republican Gov. Mike Parson in 2018 to fill the vacancy left by former treasurer Eric Schmitt, who was taking over the role of Attorney General.
Prior to his role as treasurer, Fitzpatrick served as a state House member and led the House Budget Committee.
After Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt threatened legal action against school districts in 2021, Fitzpatrick asked the districts to sign a letter promising to comply with the attorney general’s view of the law on mask mandates in schools or lose access to a money-saving state program. He has also vowed to make sure schools keep “politically divisive curriculum” such as critical race theory out of the classroom.
Campagin website: scottfitzpatrick.com
Alan Green – Democratic candidate
Dr. Alan Green served as a member of the Missouri House of Representatives, representing District 67 from 2014 to 2021. He is the former director of the Missouri Office of Equal Opportunity and advisor to two St. Louis County officials.
Green said in a statement on his campaign website he pledges to advocate for enhanced whistleblower protection, fight for and expose government agencies who violate Missouri’s Sunshine laws, and increase transparency in how state funds are allocated.
Campaign website: alankgreen.com
John Hartwig Jr. – Libertarian candidate
John Hartwig was born in St. Louis and graduated from Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
According to his campaign website, Hartwig is a strong believer in term limits and would only serve a single term as auditor if elected.
Campaign website: jhartwigcpa.com
Stay informed on election results
After polls close, turn to 5 On Your Side for the latest election results. There are so many ways to watch.
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