Being an election year made 2012 a great year for Political Buzz. It started early in the year with the caucus. St. Charles County made national news with the biggest caucus fiasco in the country. Since the first caucus ended without an awarding of delegates, the party allowed a do-over, which awarded its delegates to Ron Paul.
The Missouri legislature couldn’t seem to get its act together in time to avoid a caucus, so Missourians also participated in a primary in February. While the non-binding primary was costly for Missouri taxpayers, they didn’t pass up the opportunity to make their voices heard and choose Rick Santorum as their presidential pick. A victory well earned, as Santorum spent a great deal of time in the St. Louis area, campaigning.
Turning to races more local, Ed Martin abandoned his race for the second congressional seat, against establishment Republican candidate, Ann Wagner, and jumped into the Attorney General race. He lost in the general to the Democrat, Chris Koster.
The seats for committeeman and woman were hot-commodities in this election year. St. Charles County saw unprecedented numbers of interested candidates file for those seats. Additionally, the county provided ample opportunity for voters to meet their candidates and vet them thoroughly.
Another local, turned national election story was the U.S. Senate race in Missouri. In the three-way primary, Todd Akin unexpectedly beat his two opponents, Sarah Steelman and John Brunner. He led in the polls as he went on to challenge the Democrat, Claire McCaskill, but soon his campaign took a stark turn after he tripped up over a statement made in a local Sunday morning talk show interview. Establishment Republicans turned up the heat to get Akin out of the race, but he remained steadfast in the resolve to finish the job he started. As establishment party leaders abandoned Akin, fundraising proved to be a hindrance to campaign success and Akin lost, in the general election, to McCaskill.
The Supreme Court threw a curve into the hopes of Tea Party activists when the ruled to uphold Obamacare. And St. Charles County will experience a huge change in government structure as voters narrowly approved an initiative to replace the sheriff’s department with a county police department.
If there is one thing we will all learn in 2013, it’s that elections have consequences, and the coming year will undoubtedly bring results of 2012 voter decisions. It’s always important to remember the best way to influence the political buzz in your community, state and nation is to remain attentive, and engaged in the political process. As politics enters a turning point in St. Louis, and across the country, check back here regularly for the latest in St. Louis Political Buzz.
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