FILE - In this June 20, 2018, file photo, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., asks a question during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. McCaskill's hopes of winning a third term in Republican-dominated Missouri could depend both on convincing voters she's sufficiently moderate and how voters feel about President Donald Trump, who is backing her presumptive Republican challenger. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

The Latest: Bell claims victory in prosecutor race

August 08, 2018 - 1:19 am

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Latest on the primary election in Missouri (all times local):

12:15 a.m.

A black Ferguson city councilman has claimed victory over seven-term incumbent Bob McCulloch in the Democratic primary for St. Louis County prosecutor.

Wesley Bell told a large crowd of supporters Tuesday that it's time to end divisiveness and time to start bringing people together.

St. Louis County's unofficial vote total showed Bell leading McCulloch by a 55 percent to 45 percent margin with about 90 percent of precincts reporting. It wasn't immediately clear why the final 10 percent of precincts were so slow to come in.

There are no Republicans on the ballot in the November general election.

Observers believe the race was a referendum on McCulloch's handling of the investigation after 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was black and unarmed, was fatally shot by a white Ferguson officer in August 2014. Officer Darren Wilson was not charged. McCulloch, who is white, was criticized by some who felt he skewed the investigation in favor of Wilson.


11:40 p.m.

Incumbent Vicky Hartzler, seeking a fifth term as congresswoman for Missouri's 4th District, will face businesswoman Renee Hoagenson in the November general election.

Hartzler defeated John Webb in the Republican primary Tuesday. Hoagenson defeated Hallie Thompson in the Democratic primary. The district covers west-central Missouri.

Hoagenson, a 51-year-old single mother from Columbia, works in media and marketing. In a news conference last month, she raised concerns about Hartzler's support for President Donald Trump, especially after he was criticized following a summit with Russia's Vladimir Putin.

"Are you on Team America or Team Putin?" Hoagenson asked of Hartzler.

Hartzler, who is 57, has long been a supporter of Trump, even before his election in 2016.


11:05 p.m.

A Harvard-educated lawyer will try to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner in November after both won primary elections in Missouri's 2nd District.

Cort VanOstran defeated four challengers Tuesday in the Democratic primary. Wagner easily defeated her GOP opponent as she seeks a fourth term in a district targeted by Democrats as a possible takeover in their bid to gain control of the House.

VanOstran is 29. He recently ran TV ads defending the Affordable Care Act and noted that his mother, who was treated for breast cancer before dying in December 2016, was covered by the act, commonly known as Obamacare.

Democrats believe Wagner's support of President Donald Trump makes her vulnerable in the district that covers much of suburban St. Louis. She enters the general election race with nearly $3 million in her campaign account.


11 p.m.

Saundra McDowell, an attorney who worked for two state offices, has defeated three other candidates to win the Republican primary in the race for Missouri auditor.

McDowell's win on Tuesday means she will face Democratic incumbent Nicole Galloway in the November general election. Galloway and U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill are Missouri's only statewide Democratic office-holders. Galloway was unopposed in the primary.

McDowell is a 38-year-old Air Force veteran. She worked as director of enforcement for the secretary of state's securities division before resigning to run for auditor. She previously worked in the attorney general's office.

She defeated state Rep. Paul Curtman of Pacific, Ballwin alderman Kevin Roach and suburban St. Louis attorney David Wasinger.


10:40 p.m.

A black Ferguson city councilman leads longtime St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch in a contest some see as a referendum on McCulloch's handling of the investigation into Michael Brown's death.

With the vote counted from nearly 90 percent of precincts, the county reported Wesley Bell leading the 67-year-old McCulloch by a 55 percent to 45 percent margin in Tuesday's Democratic primary. No Republicans are running for prosecutor.

McCulloch, who is white, is seeking an eighth term.

Bell is a 43-year-old attorney and former municipal judge and prosecutor. He was elected councilman in 2015 as protests continued to rage over Brown's death.

Brown, a black and unarmed 18-year-old, died on Aug. 9, 2014, in a street confrontation with white officer Darren Wilson. A St. Louis County grand jury declined to indict Wilson, who later resigned. Some critics accused McCulloch of skewing the investigation in favor of the officer.


10:15 p.m.

Republican Rep. Sam Graves will square off with novice politician Henry Martin in November after their primary victories.

Graves, of Tarkio, who is seeking a 10th term, was unopposed Tuesday. Martin defeated two other candidates in the Democratic primary.

The district that covers a wide swath of rural northern Missouri has skewed decidedly conservative in recent years. After narrowly defeating Democrat Steve Danner in 2000, Graves has won easily in every general election since.

Graves serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Martin is an Army veteran. He has said infrastructure improvements, better education and justice reform are issues he wants to address in Congress.


10 p.m.

Nine-term Rep. William Lacy Clay of St. Louis has held off a challenge from activist Cori Bush to win the Democratic primary.

Clay on Tuesday defeated Cori Bush, a nurse, pastor and protest leader. She had the support of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 28-year-old progressive Democrat who stunned the political establishment in winning the Democratic primary in New York in June.

Clay will be a strong favorite in the November general election. His district of St. Louis city and north St. Louis County is heavily Democratic.

Clay is 62. He was elected in 2000, succeeding his father, Bill Clay, who served 32 years in Congress.


9:45 p.m.

Missouri voters have rejected a right-to-work law that would have banned mandatory union fees in workplace contracts.

The vote Tuesday marked a major victory for unions, which poured millions of dollars into a campaign to defeat Proposition A.

The right-to-work law originally was enacted in 2017 by Missouri's Republican-led Legislature and governor. But it never took effect, because unions gathered enough petition signatures to force a public referendum on it.

Unions argued the measure would have led to lower wages, while business groups claimed it could have led to more jobs. Economic studies showed mixed and sometimes conflicting results.

Twenty-seven other states have similar laws against compulsory union fees, including five Republican-led states that have acted since 2012 — Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Kentucky.


9:40 p.m.

Republican Rep. Billy Long has won the GOP primary in Missouri's 7th District as he seeks a fifth term in Congress.

Long on Tuesday defeated three opponents. He will face Democrat Jamie Schoolcraft in the November general election. Schoolcraft won a four-person Democratic primary.

Long, who is 62 and lives in Springfield, was elected in 2010 and has never been seriously challenged in subsequent elections. The district covers southwestern Missouri and is among the most conservative in Missouri. Long is a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump.

Schoolcraft is a physician assistant, Army National Guardsman and former mayor of Willard. He wants to increase access to health care, supports a higher minimum wage, and wants to increase funding for public education.


9:20 p.m.

Emanuel Cleaver will have a familiar general election opponent as he seeks his eighth term in Congress.

The Democratic incumbent and former Kansas City mayor was unopposed in Tuesday's primary election. He will face Republican Jacob Turk in November.

The two men have squared off in the past six general elections in the district that covers Kansas City and part of the surrounding area.

Their previous matchups have ranged from close to blow-out wins for the 73-year-old Cleaver. The closest races were in 2010, when Cleaver won by a 53-44 percent margin, and in 2014, when Cleaver won with 52 percent of the vote to Turk's 45 percent.

Turk defeated two GOP opponents. His campaign website says he "believes our national security is compromised with porous borders and ports."


9:15 p.m.

Republican Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer will face two general election opponents in his bid for a sixth term after winning the primary in Missouri's 3rd Congressional District.

Luetkemeyer, of St. Elizabeth, defeated GOP challenger Chadwick Bicknell Tuesday. He'll face Democrat Katy Geppert of St. Charles and Libertarian Donald Stolle of Arnold in the November general election. Both were unopposed in their primaries.

The district covers part of the St. Louis area and much of east-central Missouri.

Luetkemeyer is a 66-year-old who is a member of the House Financial Services Committee and is vice chairman of the House Small Business Committee.

Geppert works as a scientist. Stolle's Facebook page says he is an Army veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.


8:35 p.m.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley has won the Republican nomination in one of the nation's most hotly contested Senate race.

Voters on Tuesday picked Hawley as expected over 10 other GOP challengers in the race for Democrat Claire McCaskill's seat. He was the only candidate to have previously won a statewide election and had considerably more money than the other Republicans in the field. He's backed by President Donald Trump.

Republicans are eyeing the now-Democratic seat as a prime pickup opportunity in a state Trump won by nearly 19 points.

A McCaskill-Hawley matchup is expected to be one of the nation's top showdowns. McCaskill is running as a moderate in the red state. Hawley is campaigning largely on support for Trump. He is attempting to paint his rival as a liberal obstructionist.


8:30 p.m.

Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri has won the Democratic primary in her campaign for a third term.

Voters picked McCaskill Tuesday as expected over six other Democratic challengers.

Republicans are eyeing the Democratic seat in a state President Donald Trump won by nearly 19 points in 2016. Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley was favored in an 11-candidate Republican primary for the right to face McCaskill in November.

A McCaskill-Hawley matchup is expected to be one of the most hotly contested races in the nation. McCaskill is running as a moderate in the red state. Hawley is campaigning largely on support for Trump and is attempting to paint his rival as a liberal obstructionist.


7:45 p.m.

The general election matchup in Missouri's 8th Congressional District was essentially set before the primary, but now it's official.

Both Republican Rep. Jason Smith and Democratic challenger Kathy Ellis were unopposed Tuesday in their respective primaries.

Smith is 38 and has represented the district that covers the southeastern corner of Missouri since 2013, when he won a special election to replace Jo Ann Emerson after she became CEO with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

Ellis is a psychotherapist and addiction counselor from Jefferson County. She is a first-time candidate who told the Southeast Missourian last year that she was "saddened and angry" about the election of Donald Trump as president. Smith is strong supporter of the Republican president.


5:30 p.m.

A St. Louis County election official blames a "comedy of errors for some voters being turned away in the town of Berkeley.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that turnout in the St. Louis region for Tuesday's primary election was brisk, with about 35 percent of registered voters going to the polls. But there were sporadic problems, most notably at Holman Elementary School in Berkeley.

Democratic elections director Eric Fey says a Republican poll worker had to leave due to a family emergency. The other two went to lunch, apparently got lost and didn't return.

It was unclear how many people were turned away during the 45 minutes it took to get additional Republican poll workers to the polling place.

Elsewhere in St. Louis County, some poll workers mistakenly gave voters nonpartisan ballots that included only issues, not party primary races. Fey says election officials sent out text messages to poll workers reminding them how the system was supposed to work.


4:30 p.m.

Missouri voters are casting votes to select the nominees in one of the most contentious U.S. Senate races in the nation.

Patricia Green, a 70-year-old retired Columbia resident, said she came to the polls Tuesday to support Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and said she wants to volunteer for her campaign.

Green said McCaskill is "about as good as a Democrat can get" and praised her as a good balance to the Republican control of the Missouri governor's office and state House and Senate.

Green said she doesn't know if President Donald Trump's endorsement is good or bad for Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, McCaskill's likely GOP opponent in November. She called Trump "unraveled."

Republican Jay Kirschbaum is a 60-year-old employee benefits consultant from Chesterfield, voted for Hawley because he said he is the Republican most likely to beat McCaskill. Kirschbaum said he was most upset by McCaskill's support of the Affordable Care Act, which he contends caused medical costs to go up.

Kirschbaum called Trump's record on the economy and courts "stellar."

3:45 p.m.

Voters heading to the polls in Missouri are deciding whether to make Missouri a right-to-work state or to toss out the law banning mandatory union dues.

Glenn Powers is a 65-year-old government worker for St. Louis County who says he voted "no" on the right-to-work proposal. Powers says he supports labor and equity and is worried about the hollowing out of the middle class.

Gilmore Stone is a 54-year-old Republican from Columbia who works in manufacturing. He says he supports right to work. Stone said workers should not be required to pay into organizations that aren't directly connected to their employment and that he supports giving workers the choice to pay dues.

If voters consent, Missouri would become the 28th state outlawing mandatory union fees in workplace contracts and the sixth Republican-led state to do so in the past six years.

12 a.m.

Missouri voters are expected to set up one of the nation's most contentious Senate races, with Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill and Republican Josh Hawley considered heavy favorites in the primary.

McCaskill's hopes of winning a third term in the Republican-dominated state could depend both on convincing voters she's sufficiently moderate and how voters feel about President Donald Trump, who is backing Hawley. Trump coasted to a 19-percentage point victory in the onetime bellwether state less than two years ago, which is why Republicans consider McCaskill one of their top targets nationwide this fall.

Voters also will get a chance Tuesday to decide whether to make Missouri a right-to-work state or to toss out the law banning mandatory union dues and pick nominees in numerous House races.

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