This morning we attended the largest annual single gathering of politicians in Missouri, outside of the General Assembly, at the Governor’s Ham Breakfast on the grounds of the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia. It makes for an interesting juxtaposition – political opponents for statewide and legislative office who made it through the August primary milling around and greeting each other, breakfast attendees, and the media.

Senator Claire McCaskill (D) greeting supporters (actually, everyone) at the entrance

to the Governor’s Ham Breakfast on the grounds of the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia.

State Treasurer Clint Zweifel (D).

Governor Jay Nixon (D).

Cass County Prosecutor Teresa Hensley (D)

– the Democratic Party candidate in the 4th Congressional District.

ElGene Ver Dught (D), the Democratic Party candidate in the 21st Senate District.

The ham breakfast is an opportunity for media (and anyone else for that matter) to get photos of statewide and legislative candidates, all in one place. Yes, there are also opportunities for short interviews, but there are also conversations among candidates, their supporters, their staff, and the media.

We had a somewhat lengthy (and pleasant) conversation with the staffer of a republican officeholder. A ways into our conversation he asked point blank if we were in the employ of his candidate’s opponent (uh, no) or if we were in the employ of party committees (uh, no). Seriously? Those thoughts crossed their mind about a blog which has a readership of dozens? That’s a sign they’ve got bigger problems than us.

Jason Kander (D), the Democratic Party candidate for Secretary of State.

Campaign workers and volunteers line the entry path to the ham breakfast,

handing out their candidate’s campaign stickers to supporters attending the breakfast.

Yes, there were teabaggers in attendance. They leave no doubt about who and what they support. That is an interesting name tag.

Uh, yep, Representative Vicky Hartzler (r) knew we were there.

Attorney General Chris Koster (D).

Dave Spence (r), the republican candidate for governor.

Yes, his campaign land yacht was prominently parked near the entrance to the ham breakfast.

State Auditor Tom Schweich (r). Yes, we sincerely do try to get images of office holders and political candidates when they’re not making faces.

There were a several such images of the State Auditor – we just couldn’t consistently focus the camera.

Attorney General Chris Koster (D).

Senator Roy Blunt (r).

Todd Akin (r), the republican candidate for U.S. Senate.

Some campaigns line the entry to the breakfast with yard signs (or park their campaign land yacht nearby), others don’t bother.