This evening I attended a 2008 campaign event and dinner sponsored by Saline County Democrats at the Martin Civic Center in Marshall, Missouri. The civic center is a brand new structure – this dinner was one of the first big events in the new building. There were about 250 people in attendance. Jay Nixon was the featured speaker. Others who attended and addressed the audience were Congressman Ike Skelton; Sam Page (candidate for Lt. Governor), Margaret Donnelly and Chris Koster (candidates for Attorney General); State Auditor Susan Montee (she’s not standing for election this cycle, but she spoke of the opportunities in this coming election); Clint Zweifel, Mark Powell and Andria Simckes (candidates for Treasurer).  

Margaret Donnelly spoke before dinner (she had to leave early because of her schedule):

…So for twenty years of public service, and in my law practice, my main focus has been protecting families. And that is the commitment I will take to the office of Attorney General…

Clint Zweifel spoke (briefly) as an announced candidate for Treasurer.

…I want to be honest with you tonight. I just made the decision to run, after talking about it with my family, last night at 9:00 o’clock…

…When I ran for my first election…and I ran for the same reason all of you are here right now, and that’s to make a difference and help others…

Jay Nixon covered a wide range of issues – the audience paid close attention:

…This is the first time 250 Democrats have been quiet all year [laughter]…

…This state is truly at a crossroads. We have seen what three and a half years of Matt Blunt and this legislature can do…what damage they can wreak…the differences are oh so stark…

Jay Nixon mixed in autobiographical details, stories about real people, and self deprecating humor with his detailed vision for making Missouri government “work for the people again”.


Chris Koster moved from table to table, introducing himself to those who did not know him and answering questions. Koster later addressed the crowd, speaking for approximately seven minutes:

…There are several fine Democrats who are running for Attorney General of the state this year and each of us will have an opportunity to come before you and explain what makes our candidacy unique…

…If experience matters…to us…in the state’s top law enforcement job…what I came here tonight…is to tell you that I’ve been there…

…An Attorney General is the voice that stands in the court rooms of this state and makes the closing arguments on behalf of our people. All I have to offer is the voice of someone who’s been there…

Mark Powell spoke of his experience in banking, in investment, and as a candidate for Treasurer in 2004.

Andria Simckes spoke of her experience as comptroller of the 1996 coordinated campaign in Missouri, her work for Governor Carnahan, her experience with the Missouri Department of Economic Development, and her service as Executive Director of the St. Louis Regional Empowerment Zone.