( – promoted by Clark)

Originally posted on DailyKos

Election season hasn’t quite started yet. Even if the Blunt/Nixon campaign has went on for a long time.

On the gubernatorial front, Jack Jackson is considering challenging Blunt. Soon enough we’ll see if he actually relies on a poll refering to him as “Col. Jack Jackson” as an indicator of his popularity. Early verdict on Blunt/Jackson: Blunt wins big, Jackson gets protest votes.

But on the down-ballot front, and the state legislature, there’s races brewing for 2008.

On the Lt. Governor front, the current candidates (announced and likely) are St. Rep. Sam Page, Mike Evans and St. Rep. Jim Whorton. Whorton is rumored to be looking at other state offices, as he’s term-limited. Right now, I’d guess Sam Page is a favorite to win the nomination.

On the Secretary of State front, nothing is really brewing. But, there’s still time.

On the Treasurer front, the two candidates are still Mark Powell and Sarah Steelman. Some rumors suggest that Whorton is looking into this race too. Whatever race Whorton enters, it’ll be a fun test to see how well he does in Northern Missouri (it has been a really long time since a candidate from Northwest Missouri has won a statewide office. And it would surprise me if any Grundy County residents have ever won a state office)

As for Attorney General, the candidates are still St. Rep. Margaret Donnelly and St. Rep. Jeff Harris for the Democrats. With recent switcher Chris Koster as a strong possibility for this office. On the Republican side, candidates include St. Sen Michael Gibbons and Catherine Hanaway. Hanaway is currently a Bush-appointed US Attorney.

Uncommitted statewide candidates (the ones with a committee for “statewide office”) include Chuck Gross (R), Tom George (R), Sarah Steelman (even if she’s 99.99% likely to run for re-election), Maida Coleman (D), Delbert Scott (R), Jack Jackson (R), Nathan Cooper (why this committee still exists despite Cooper’s conviction, I don’t know), Rod Jetton (R), Charlie Shields (R), Harry Kennedy (D), Chris Koster (D), Sam Page (D), Jim Lembke (R), Matt Bartle (R), Jim Whorton (D), John Quinn (R), and David Pearce (R)

You can cross Steelman, Cooper, Page, and Lembke off that list. You probably shouldn’t put Steve Gaw on the list yet. Joe Maxwell is listed with a statewide committee, but I’d be surprised if he ran for anything.

(Fun trivia note: Gary Nodler has a statewide office committee for 2012.. now that’s long-term planning. Joan Bray and Carl Vogel have a statewide committees for 2010, and Dan Clemens has a 2012 statewide committee.)

Statewide primary notes: It’s far too early for me to make concrete decisions on non-incumbent candidates. Although Jeff Harris e-mails do show up in my inbox.

But the state senate has some races so far.

In SD1, Harry Kennedy is leaving due to the wonder known as Term Limits. Candidates with committees to replace him include Joan Barry (D) and St. Rep. Jim Lembke (R). Based on 2004 results, this could be a close race.

SD3, nobody has a committee to take on Kevin Engler (R) but the district includes some very Democratic counties, so maybe someone good can be motivated to run.

SD5, Maida Coleman (D) is term-limited, and candidates with committees include St. Rep. Rodney Hubbard, St. Rep. Thomas Villa, and St. Rep. Robin Wright Jones (all Democrats). So if all three run, then we’ll have more fun STL primaries for the state house.

SD7, Loudon (R) is term-limited and candidates include St. Rep. Jane Cunningham (R) and St. Rep. Neal St. Onge (R).

SD9/SD11, no visable action is happening in the districts of Yvonne Wilson (D) and Victor Callahan (D).

SD13, St. Sen. Tim Green (D) might be challenged by St. Rep. Juanita Head Walton (D). As both have committees for this seat.

SD15, Kevin Gunn (D) and St. Rep. Jim Avery (R) are two candidates to succeed the term-limited St. Sen. Michael Gibbons (R)

SD17, Michael Reardon (D) is a candidate to challenge St. Sen. LuAnn Ridgeway (R) in one of the better pickup opportunities.

SD19/SD21: There’s no action to challenge first term St. Senator Chuck Graham (D). There’s also no overt action to challenge Bill Stouffer. I’d expect a challenge to Stouffer from someone. A challenge to Graham? I doubt that will occur.

SD23, Tom Dempsey just won this seat. So we’ll see if a more vigorous challenge will occur here.

SD25/SD27/SD29: No challenges yet to Bob Mayer (R-Dexter) in SD25. Same for Jason Crowell (R-Cape Girardeau) in SD27. Same for Jack Goodman’s Southwest Missouri-based 29th district.

SD31: This is a wildcard due to the likelyhood that Koster will seek state office, and due to the Democratic sympathies of some areas of the district. At the very least, it’ll be a highly watched race on a statewide level.

SD33: No action here either.

Overall, the Senate makeup is 20 Republicans and 14 Democrats.

In 2008, there’ll be at least four open seats (2 Dem/2 Rep), 8 Republicans defending their seats, and 5 Democrats defending their seats. That’s counting Koster’s seat as a defense and not an open seat. But that’ll probably change.

So it’ll take 3 pickups to switch the Senate (if Kinder loses), and 4 to win it outright.

On the state house side. I’m sure there is news, and if you have it, post it. It’ll take 11 pickups to replace Rod Jetton with Paul LeVota. Can it happen? Sure, But it’ll take a major push to win the seats that we narrowly lost in 2006.