About 37 percent of eligible voters in Greene County went to the polls yesterday to vote in the primary election.
Proposition A, which received mass attention as groups debated the right-to-work issue, failed at the ballot yesterday, according to the unofficial election results posted at GreeneCountyMo.gov and SOS.Mo.gov.
The proposition sought to make Missouri the 28th state nationwide to put a law on the books that would give employees a choice in regards to union membership at unionized employers.
The voting percentage on the measure in Greene County nearly mirrored those statewide.
Prop A failed in Greene County with 68 percent of voters, or more than 21,000, disapproving of the measure. Nearly 10,000 people voted in favor of adopting the right-to-work law. At the state level, Prop A failed with 67.5 percent, or roughly 937,000 people, against it, according to the secretary of state.
We Are Missouri, a union-backed group that helped gather signatures to put the law before voters, issued a statement applauding the election results.
“In every corner of the state, voters rebuked the efforts of powerful, out-of-state corporate interests and dark money to control the future of Missouri’s economy,” the statement reads. “Today we protected the future for Missouri’s working families.”
Officials with We Are Missouri previously cited U.S. Census Bureau statistics from 2016 indicating states with right-to-work laws report a lower median household income, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.
Prop A proponents, including the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, pointed to statistics showing private-sector employment has improved more quickly in right-to-work states compared with those that don’t have such a law in place.
“Using a roughly $20 million war chest, union bosses have blocked Missourians from having the freedom to decide whether or not they join a union and pay dues,” chamber officials said in a statement. “These out-of-state groups sent money to Missouri because they were fearful of losing out if Missourians had the power to stop their paychecks from being siphoned to pad union coffers and play politics.”
The primaries represented chances for challengers to campaign in the upcoming general election, while also forwarding incumbents.
For Greene County presiding commissioner, state Sen. Bob Dixon, R-Springfield, triumphed over current county leader Bob Cirtin on the Republican ballot.
Dixon took 67.5 percent, or more than 22,000 votes, to win over Cirtin, who brought in nearly 11,000 votes.
Lincoln Hough, who’s currently a Greene County commissioner, ran unopposed on the Republican Party ticket to succeed Dixon as senator for the 30th District. Democrat Charlie Norr also ran unopposed in yesterday’s primary.
On the Democratic Party side, former state Rep. Sara Lampe won 84 percent of the votes over challenger Donna Bergen for presiding commissioner.
Greene County and statewide election results in contested races include:
• Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley’s nod to run as a Republican for U.S. senator against incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill;
• incumbent Billy Long winning the Republican ballot to face off against Democrat Jamie Schoolcraft;
• Republican Sarah Semple’s win to challenge incumbent Democrat Crystal Quade for state representative of District 132;
• incumbent Republican Rep. Elijah Haahr moving on to campaign in the general election against Democrat Derrick Nowlin for District 134;
• District 135 Rep. Steve Helms winning over his Republican challengers to go against Democrat Rob Bailey; and
• Republican John Black winning the primaries to take on Democrat Raymond Lampert for District 137, replacing termed-out Republican Rep. Lyndall Fraker.
As the election results rolled in last night, McCaskill issued a challenge to Hawley to participate in four town-hall debates. McCaskill said she has held more than 50 public town halls with Missourians since 2017.
“Missourians deserve the same chance to ask you questions and hear your answers as they have consistently had with me,” she said in a news release.
In a response, Hawley welcomed the challenge but called for a different approach.
“This is a chance to make this Senate race the most substantive contest in America, without the filter of journalists or outside advertisers,” he said in a statement. “If you and I tour this state and debate over and over in a direct, candidate-to-candidate style … those conversations will become the basis for every voter’s decision.”
Whataburger launched its second local store; Branson shop Revive Juice and Coffee Bar LLC moved; and a new Monett branch of the Barry-Lawrence Regional Library District opened.