A Quick Look at the Candidates

2016 Election: The Candidates

U.S. Senate

Jason Kander, Democrat

Age: 35

Kander grew up in Overland Park, KS, and attended Bishop Miege High School. He received a law degree from Georgetown University. After 9/11, he joined the Army National Guard where he was promoted to Captain. He currently lives in Columbia. He was elected to Missouri House of Representatives in 2008 and appointed Secretary of State in 2012.

–        Economy: Advocates a middle-class tax cut, a hike in minimum wage and equal pay for women.

–         Health Care: Favors chances to Affordable Care Act to better incentivize insurers. Opposes a public option.

–        Gun Policy: Voted to lower the state’s concealed carry age from 23 to 21 for Missourians and from 21 to 18 for military service members. Supports universal background checks.

–        Social Security: Calling for savings from wasteful federal programs to help shore up SS.

–        Trade: Supports letting farmers sell to Cuba. Opposed the fast tracking of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal which he believes does not protect the American workers.

Roy Blunt, Republican

Age: 66

Blunt grew up in Niangua and became a history teacher. He started his political career as a county official in 1973. In 1984 he because the first Republican in 50 years to serve as the Secretary of State. From 1997 to 2011 he represented the 7th District (southwest Missouri) in the U.S. House of Representatives. He has been the State Senator since 2011.

–        Economy: Co-sponsored legislation requiring a 2/3 vote of both chambers of Congress to raise taxes or exceed spending limits, and a 3/5 vote to raise the limit on the federal debt.

–        Health Care: A vocal critic of Obamacare, saying it is an “onerous” law that should be scrapped.

–        Gun Policy: Voted no on banning high-capacity magazines of over 10 bullets. Voted yes on prohibiting product misuse lawsuits on gun manufacturers.

–        Social Security: Voted yes on reducing tax payments on SS benefits. Voted no on strengthening the Social Security Lockbox. Previously favored a partial privatization of SS.

–        Trade: Supported numerous free-trade agreements during his years in Congress. Voted for fast-track legislation that allows President Obama to get a vote in Congress on the TPP, with no ability for amendments.


U.S. House of Representatives

Emanuel Cleaver, Democrat

Age: 71

Cleaver was born in Waxahachie, TX, and became a United Methodist Pastor after receiving a theology degree from St. Paul School of Theology in Kansas City. In 1979 he was elected city councilman in Kansas City. In 1991 he became the first African-American mayor in Kansas City and served until 1999. In 2005 he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

–        Economy: Supports a living wage, raising the minimum wage to tie into inflation. Supported the economic stimulus plan. Support higher taxes on wealthy.

–        Health Care: Believes health care is a right not a privilege. Supports tax benefits to small businesses that provide health care coverage for their employees.

–        Gun Policy: Would repeal “stand-your-ground” laws.

–        Social Security: Opposed privatization of Social Security. Refuses to vote for any budget that Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security benefits.

Jacob Turk, Republican

Age: 60

Turk is from Lee’s Summit. He joined the Marines Corp and attended UMKC on a GI bill, receiving a degree in engineering. Started software business and worked for the National Association of Insurance Commissions as a software programmer.

–        Economy: Committed to helping small business. Favors tax cuts, both personal and business. Favors less government regulation.

–        Health Care: Would repeal and replace Obamacare with a solution that would provide coverage for those unable to do so on their own, including no rate ups or turn downs for pre-existing conditions.

–        Social Security: Believes in citizen ownership of retirement benefits.



Chris Koster, Democrat (Republican prior to 2007)

Age: 52

Koster grew up in St. Louis. Practiced law at Blackwell Sanders in Kansas City. Became Prosecuting Attorney for Cass County in Harrisonville, elected to the Missouri State Senate. In 2007 he switched parties and won the race for Attorney General in 2008.

–        Economy and Jobs: In favor of cutting taxes and streamlining regulations to help businesses, raising the minimum wage, and enacting nondiscrimination. Also favors closing the 29% wage gap in Missouri between men and women. An advocate for workers’ organizations.

–        Health Care: In favor of Medicaid expansion to bring jobs to Missouri where health care is the state’s fastest growing industry.

–        Education: In favor of correcting the 25% deficit in baseline funding (Foundation Formula) for public schools and the 40% deficit in higher education.


Eric Greitens,  Republican (Democrat as late as 2009)

Age: 42

Greitens grew up in St. Louis. Majored in ethics, philosophy and public policy at Duke University. Received a Doctorate in Philosophy from Lady Margaret Hall. Navy SEAL and author. Founded non-profit Mission Continues which helps war veterans.

–        Economy and Jobs: Favors eliminating regulation that hinders job creation

–        Crime: Favors funding training, equipment and support for police officers

–        Government: Shrink government, eliminate waste and fraud, watch the budget

–        Education: Opposes Common Core; leave education in the hands of local parents and teachers

–        Taxation: Simplify tax codes and close special interest loopholes


Lieutenant Governor

Russ Carnahan, Democrat

Age: 58

Born in Columbia but grew up in Rolla. Father was the late Mel Carnahan, former governor of Missouri who died in a plane crash prior to becoming U.S. Senator. Russ Carnahan was a U.S. Representative for the 3rd District (near St. Louis). However, the district was dismantled in 2013 due to remapping of Congressional districts.

–        Economy and Jobs: Favors loans and tax credits to small businesses, increase in minimum wage, equal pay for women. Opposes Right to Work. Expand internet access to rural communities.

–        Healthcare: Favors the expansion of Medicaid which will bring jobs to Missouri, a Prescription Drug Monitoring program to reduce drug abuse among seniors. Pro-Choice.

–        Education: Favors expanding early childhood education system, increasing full funding to public school districts and restoring full funding to higher education schools; increase teacher salaries.

–        Veterans: Favors ensuring veterans receive their rightful benefits by creating task force.

Mike Parsons, Republican

Age: 61

Parsons grew up in Wheaton. He spent six years in the Army before becoming the sheriff of Polk County for 12 years. He served three terms in the Missouri House and is in his second term in the Missouri State Senate. He raises cattle near Bolivar.

–        Economy and Jobs: Promotes agricultural interests and led the Right to Farm effort.

–        Healthcare: Pro-Life. Voted to extend waiting period for an abortion from 24 hours to 72 hours.

–        Taxation: Opposes all increases in taxation as a matter of principal.

–        2nd Amendment Rights: Supporter of Castle Doctrine enabling Missourians to protect themselves from intruders without fear of a lawsuit.

–        Veterans: Supports finding housing for homeless veterans.


Secretary of State

Robin Smith, Democrat

Age 62

Robin Smith recently retired from 40 years as news anchor for KMOV in St. Louis. She has served on numerous charity and organization boards in St. Louis. She was raised in St. Louis.

–        Voter I.D.: Believes over 220,000 voters in Missouri without identification will be denied the right to vote which may trigger law suits.


Jay Ashcroft, Republican

Age 43

The son of former Missouri governor and U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, Jay is an attorney at his father’s law firm. Raised in Jefferson City, Ashcroft has a degree in engineering and law. Ashcroft briefly moved to Kansas City to support his gymnast daughter’s hopes of making the 2016 Olympics.

–        Job and Economy: Favors improving training for first time business owners, reducing red tape for small businesses and assisting new businesses.

–        Voter I.D.: Architect of Amendment 6 which would require photo identification to vote.


State Treasurer

Judy Baker, Democrat

Age: 56

Judy Baker grew up in Columbia and is a small business owner and state representative. She has a degree in Education Psychology and Health Care Administration and a Masters of Divinity from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. She has taught economics and policy making.

–        State Spending: Will create a searchable Annual Report Card for Missourians to see how money is being spent.

–        Families: Favors preparing young people with financial life skills to save for college, housing, etc.

–        Economy and Jobs: Favors low-interest loans for small businesses and family farms.

Eric Schmitt, Republican

Age 41

Eric Schmitt grew up in Tipton, Pilot Grove, LA, and St. Louis. He received a law degree from St. Louis University. He is a two-time state senator representing the 15th District. Schmitt and his wife have a son with autism.

–        State Spending: Favors publishing government expenditures for public review.

–        Healthcare: Supports tax-exempt savings accounts for individuals with disabilities and their families.

–        Businesses: Favors banning the state and other political entities from being invested in companies doing business with Iran.

Attorney General

Teresa Hensley, Democrat

Age 57

Teresa Hensley grew up in Raymore and practiced law for 14 years before becoming Cass County Prosecutor for 10 years. She has 24 years of courtroom experience prosecuting criminals. Her primary concern is criminal law, aggressively prosecuting law breakers, protecting victims and keeping communities safe. As stated on her website, “She is the only one in the race who has a proven record of going the extra mile for the most vulnerable among us.”

Josh Hawley, Republican

Age 36

Hawley grew up in Lexington, attended Rockhurst High School, Stanford University and Yale where he received a law degree. He was a clerk to Supreme Court Justice John Roberts. Now a law professor at the University of Missouri, his concern is Constitution Law and government deregulation. As he states on his website “I am the only candidate in this race who has a record of winning against regulatory overreach in court.”








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