Lawrence County voters came out by the thousands to vote in Tuesday's midterm elections, totaling 59 percent turnout among registered voters. With 14,153 ballots cast, the majority of voters selected Republican candidates in every race possible.
In the biggest race on the Missouri ballot -- U.S. senator -- current state attorney general Josh Hawley defeated incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill, with 73 percent of the vote in Lawrence County and 51 percent overall.
For U.S. Representative District 7, Billy Long was re-elected over challenger Jamie Schoolcraft, with 72 percent of the Lawrence County vote and 66 percent overall. In the state auditor's race, the county results did not match up with the overall winner, as incumbent Democrat Nicole Galloway defeated Saundra McDowell. McDowell received 62 percent of votes in Lawrence County.
A couple of the ballot initiatives decided in Tuesday's election also broke the opposite of how the county voted. Amendment 4, which would break the ban on bingo advertisements and allow members of bingo organizing groups to participate in managing games, lost here by about an eight point margin but passed with 52 percent of the statewide vote.
Proposition B also passed statewide with a 62 percent approval, while Lawrence County votes narrowly rejected it. The proposition intends to increase the state minimum wage from $7.85 an hour to $12 an hour over the next five years.
In other ballot measures, the county voted with the state majority, including on the following amendments and propositions:Amendment 1 -- amends the Missouri Constitution to change the process for redrawing legislative districts and limits on campaign contributions and gifts, and prohibits state legislators from serving as lobbyists for a certain amount of time. (county -- 55% YES, state -- 62% YES) Amendment 2 -- legalizes the use of medical marijuana with a four percent tax on its retail sale, using the funds for healthcare and other service for military veterans. This is the first of three medical marijuana measures and the only one to pass. (county -- 53% YES, state -- 66% YES) Amendment 3 -- would legalize medical marijuana with a 15 percent sales tax, funding a biomedical research and drug development institute. (county -- 73% NO, state -- 69% NO) Proposition C -- would legalize the use of marijuana if diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition, imposing a two percent sales tax to be used for veterans' services, drug treatment, early childhood education and public safety. (county -- 65% NO, state -- 56% NO) Proposition D -- would enact a fuel tax of 2.5 cents per gallon annually for four years, to be used to fund state law enforcement and road maintenance. The measure would also exempt Special Olympic, Paralympic and Olympic prizes from state taxes and establish an Emergency State Freight Bottleneck Fund. (county -- 60% NO, state -- 54% NO)
In other races and questions, the county voted as follows:State representative, district 157 -- Mike Moon, 79%; Loretta Thomas, 21% State representative, district 158 -- Scott Fitzpatrick, 99% Circuit judge, circuit 39 -- Jack Goodman, 99% Associate circuit judge, division I -- Scott Sifferman, 99% Associate circiut judge, division II -- Robert E. George, ((% Presiding commissioner -- Bob Senninger, 73%; Mike Palmer 27% County clerk -- Tammy Riebe, 99% Circuit clerk -- Pam Mieswinkel Fobair, 99% Recorder of deeds -- Gary Emerson, 99% County treasurer -- Kathy Fairchild, 99% Prosecuting attorney -- Don Trotter, 98% Collector of revenue -- Kelli McVey, 99% Supreme court, Judge Brent Powell -- YES, 82% Supreme court, Judge Mary Rhodes Russel -- YES, 78% Appeals court southern district, Judge Jeffrey Bates -- YES, 79% Freistatt Fire Protection District directors -- Roy Oberman, 21%; Matt Losack, 19.93%; Bruce Doss, 19.87%; Ron Hayward and Matthew Johnson, 19.12% Freistatt Fire Protection question -- YES, 76% Mt. Vernon question -- YES, 53%
Nationally, Republicans will maintain their majority in the United States Senate, but Democrats gained enough seats in the House of Representatives to take the majority there for the first time in the presidency of Donald Trump. Also for the first time in the history of the nation, more than 100 women were elected to the House.