Missouri 2016 elections likely to affect state Legislature

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Missouri political scientists and some legislative leaders say the 2016 elections likely will play a role in the 2016 legislative session.

At least seven lawmakers are running for U.S. Congress or statewide office.

University of Central Missouri political scientist Robynn Kuhlmann says lawmakers will grandstand during the session. That could help increase candidates’ name recognition, which is important in elections.

Truman State University political scientist Randy Hagerty says the upcoming elections also could push candidates to sponsor high-profile legislation. Republican Sen. Will Kraus is running for secretary of state and is sponsoring a bill to require photo identification for voters, which legislative leaders have said is a priority this session.

The secretary of state oversees elections.

Kraus says he supported such a proposal before his candidacy.