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On the Ballot: Aug. 4, 2020

In anticipation of the Aug. 4 primary, Mid Rivers Newsmagazine asked candidates in contested races to answer the following questions:

1. What are your top priorities if elected?

2. What are your qualifications for holding public office?

The answers of those who responded by deadline are listed below in ballot order. Incumbent candidates are identified with an asterisk. Mid Rivers Newsmagazine has not verified and does not endorse the statements made by the candidates. Unopposed candidates were omitted from Mid Rivers Newsmagazine’s query but are listed below. Party affiliations are noted as Democrat (D), Republican (R), Libertarian (L), Constitution (C) and Green (G)


• Ann Wagner* (R) 

• Jill Schupp (D)

• Martin Schulte (L)


• Brandon Wilkinson (R) 

• Adela Wisdom (R) 

1. My top priorities once elected are: job security, economic stability, and judicial reform. I believe that allowing Missouri farmers to cultivate industrialized hemp as we did for the Navy in WWII will bring forth job security and economic growth. Missouri is No. 1 in the nation for women’s incarceration, and this is why I will fight for judicial reform.

2. My qualifications are: I am motivated, I am passionate, and I am ready to bring some change to Congress. I have the ability to listen to all sides of a debate and find a commonsense approach to the situation. I understand the need for compromise. I will represent all the people.

• Blaine Luetkemeyer (R) 

• Jeffrey Nowak (R) 

• Lynette Trares (R) 

• Megan Rezabek (D)

• Dennis Oglesby (D)

• Leonard J Steinman II (L)


• Raleigh Ritter (R)

• Mike Parson* (R)

• James W. (Jim) Neely (R)

• Saundra McDowell (R)

1. Economy, education and corruption. I will apply low-tax, pro-growth principles and eliminate nonessential regulations; focus on small businesses and invest in future workers by expanding technical training; reform the Department of Education and protect the rights of parents to choose the best path for their child; improve transparency in school funding; reject common core and federal overreach; promote civic education; and drain the Missouri swamp by looking into corrupt government practices and punishing the wrongdoers.

2. As an Air Force veteran, I have a servant heart. As an attorney, I’ve worked in private practice, with my own firm and for the state as an Assistant attorney general and as the director of enforcement. I have lead auditors and investigators looking into fraud, waste and abuse. I was the GOP nominee for state auditor in 2018. We need bold leadership. I have a spine and will stand up for the people. Learn more at mcdowellforgovernor.com.

• Nicole Galloway (D)

• Jimmie Matthews (D)

1. My priorities are racism, corruption, injustice, human and civil rights, economic justice, education and integrity in leadership. I will pass legislation to limit payday loan charges; stop busing children out of local schools; fight against privatizing taxpayers’ properties, prisons, airport, parks, etc.; work to build rural/city-owned hospitals and skills centers; improve our neighborhoods and reduce crime; provide home repair grants to homeowners; reduce police violence; and help the homeless, elderly and youth.

2. I am a former Alderman 27th ward and committeeman, real estate broker developer, notary public, school teacher, and political/community activist. My vision for our communities and state is to create an African American community bank, credit unions, saving and loans, state hospitals in cities and counties, a black Wall Street and businesses districts to hire our own and built our own neighborhoods housing and reparations for slavery. In addition, create free skills centers and prison reform. 

• Antoin Johnson (D)

1. My priorities are to create jobs for the working and poor class citizens of Missouri, attain universal healthcare and institute free interstate college. In the inner city there are abandoned buildings to be reconstructed which will create jobs for the homeless and underemployed as well as felons. These building can turn a profit (apartments, retail) for the state. No one should have to choose food over medication. A free interstate college will bring more revenue in Missouri (job program, property taxes).

2. I’ve been an activist for 25 years, fighting for higher wages and better living arrangements and against elderly abuse, racism, domestic violence and police brutality. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in urban affairs c/o public administration from Harris-Stowe University and a Master of public administration from Lindenwood University. All the education that I have doesn’t give me more experience than life itself.

• Eric Morrison (D)

• Robin John Daniel Van Quaethem (D)

• Rik Combs (L) 

• Jerome Howard Bauer (G)


• Arnie C. AC Dienoff (R) 

1. My priorities are working with senators to craft legislation that benefits Missouri families and makes financial sense; serving all Missourians as their advocate and ombudsman; 100% Pro-Life and Second Amendment; balanced budgets and annual audits with transparency; public safety; children; early, K-12 and higher education; business, labor and economic/workforce development; infrastructure capital improvements; seniors and those with disabilities and special needs; veterans; tourism; agriculture; Capitol Complex Commission; housing and rural development; Missouri-RX program; health/fitness; ethics reforms; unnecessary waste and unfair political connected contracts.
2. This is a life-long dream! I will be the People’s Voice and will fight every day for Missourians! My experience and service to the state matters. I will work hard for you and not special-interest with honesty, accountability, ethics and open transparency. I am involved in state policy/legislation, civic-minded and talented. College educated in business administration/management. I have worked/ been appointed at the municipal, township, county and state levels and have managed multi-million dollar organizations. Learn more at www.dienoffltgov.webs.com

• Mike Kehoe* (R)

• Aaron T Wisdom (R)

• Mike Carter (R)

1. Lieutenant governor holds virtually no authority to do anything in Missouri. I may work to eliminate the office and seek to have governors run with a lieutenant governor running mate in future elections. The office does garner some media attention, and I would marshal that for a push to sell Missouri nationwide as a place to start and relocate businesses.

2. Elected as a Wentzville judge for eight years, over four terms, and was elected director for the St. Louis Association of REALTORS. I am the chief operating officer of one of St. Charles County’s largest employers (800-plus employees). I know how to bring more businesses and jobs to Missouri.

• Gregory A Upchurch (D)

1. Healthcare is our greatest threat to the safety of all Missouri residents, and I think everyone should be universally covered. I hold a master’s degree in public administration and believe early education is essential. Governmental transparency is a must! Transportation provides for workers and goods to get to market. Affordable housing shortages means many families go without. If we do not care of the environment, eventually the environment will take care of us.

2.  I am currently a small business owner (10 years) and owned my first business (8 years), too. I have housing executive board experience for MSU and MO ETA. My teaching experience includes college faculty, K-12 and English internationally. Extensive travel perfected my understanding and acceptance of people, and every past employee has told me they would gladly work for me because they like having a boss who treats them with respect. Learn more at GregoryAUpchurch.com.

• Alissia Canady (D)

• Bill Slantz (L)

• Kelley Dragoo (G)


• John R. (Jay) Ashcroft* (R)

• Yinka Faleti (D)

• Carl Herman Freese (L)

• Paul Lehmann (G)

• Paul Venable (C)


• Scott Fitzpatrick* (R)

• Vicki Lorenz Englund (D) 

• Nicholas (Nick) Kasoff (L)

• Joseph Civettini (G)


• Eric Schmitt* (R)

• Rich Finneran (D)

1. My first priority is protecting healthcare, including coverage for pre-existing conditions, by ending Missouri’s involvement in the federal lawsuit to eliminate the Affordable Care Act. Second is criminal justice: I will address the inequities of our system head-on and ensure the law is enforced fairly and equally for all. Third, I’ll take on corruption to make sure the AG’s office benefits the people, not politicians or the well-connected.

2. I’m a former federal prosecutor dedicated to serving justice and protecting the public. From 2010 to 2017, I served as an assistant U.S. attorney in St. Louis, where I aggressively prosecuted some of the most significant cases in the history of the state, including a $435 million prepaid funeral scam and a $50 million investment fraud. I’ve never been afraid to take on the powerful and well-connected when they preyed upon the vulnerable. Learn more at www.richfinneran.com.

• Elad Gross (D)

1. My priorities are to: Prosecute corruption and implement comprehensive ethics reform in state government to return government to We the People. Start Missouri’s first statewide coordinated effort to prevent violent crime. Start Missouri’s first civil rights division at the attorney general’s office to protect our rights, ensure accountability within our government, and save taxpayer money by reducing legal payouts. Improve access to affordable health care and substance abuse treatment. Combat scammers, especially those taking over our phones.

2. I served as an assistant attorney general and as a special public defender. I have the most relevant experience in the race, and I’ll be ready to go on day one. I’m one of the nation’s lead anti-corruption attorneys. I won landmark civil rights and government transparency cases. I’ve served as an educator for over 13 years. I’m also the only candidate who has published plans. You can see them at EladGross.org/solutions.

• Kevin C Babcock (L)


• Dan O’Connell (R)

1. Good leaders show up when their constituents are protesting. They listen to their constituents even when we don’t agree. I’m running because we deserve better than more ignorance and fear. If elected, my primary goal would be to make sure that everyone in our district feels represented in Jefferson City. I will be the ultimate “Show-Me” politician. You will never see me use “fake news” or even religious doctrine to justify a policy choice. 

2. I’m an engineer by trade, but grew up a Boy Scout at Sts. Joaquin and Ann Catholic Church, and was raised to hold government leaders as the prime example of moral and ethical leadership. Good leaders show up when their constituents are protesting, and I have. They listen to their constituents even when we don’t agree. I’m running because for my own soul I have to hope we deserve better than more ignorance and fear.

• Bill Eigel (R)

• Eric Wulff (R)

My top priority if elected is to bring Real Conservative Leadership for eastern St. Charles County to the Missouri State Senate. That means voting to lower taxes, not increase them. That means supporting our law enforcement and veterans, not defunding the police. And that means always voting 100% Pro-life. Our words back home should match our votes in Jefferson City and I will be a strong Constitutional Conservative vote at all times for this district.

2. I graduated from the University of Missouri with a bachelor’s degree in both economics and political science. I earned my law degree at Mizzou. I also have taught in the Special School District, a program for ‘at risk’ juveniles, and at Webster University. I am a partner in a law firm that specializes in family and adoption law. A former prosecutor, I am a Municipal Judge for the city of St. Charles.

• Richard Orr (D)


• Jerry Adzima (R)

• Paula Brown (D


• Ron Hicks (R)

• Tracy Grundy (D


• John D. Wiemann (R)

• Lisa Rees (D


• Adam Schnelting (R)

• Jessica DeVoto (D

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