Missouri lawmakers respond to presidential primary

Ozarks Politics

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The attention is on Democrats and the choice has narrowed to a race between former vice president Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders.

Republicans hold supermajorities in both the Missouri House and Senate. Democrats are looking to change that hope to win back some swing districts.

Several elected Democrats have said they want a presidential nominee who will energize voters in those suburban districts. But for now, many elected Democrats in leadership roles are holding off on making any endorsements until they see what their constituents say when they head to the polls.

The one area of agreement for Democrats seems to be opposition to President Trump.

“Our caucus is firmly on the side of the incumbent not being reelected,” said John Rizzo. Senate Minority Floor Leader (D-Independence)

One congressional race already generating national attention involves Democratic state Senator Jill Schupp gearing up for a challenge against Republican Congresswoman Ann Wagner.

The choice Democrats make between Biden and Sanders could influence that race.

For now, Schupp has not taken a stand on which candidate she will support. Sanders and Biden scheduled to make campaign stops in Missouri before Tuesday.

“I think that’s great for the state of Missouri, I think it will get voters excited,” said Jill Schupp, (D-Creve Coeur) “But what I want to know is I want to hear from the people in our state and in my district about who they believe should be at the top of the ticket.”

For Republicans, there are other candidates on Tuesday’s primary ballot challenging President Trump, but the Republican leadership in Jefferson City believes support for the president remains strong.

“At the end of the day, when you ask constituents a very basic question, are you better off now than you were four years ago, and generally, the answer is yes,” said Caleb Rowden, Senate majority floor leader (R-Columbia).

Missouri is one of six states holding either a primary or a caucus on March 10.

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