What is on the ballot in Missouri and Illinois? Check this summary

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – There is a lot more on the ballot than who will be the next president of the United States.  Voters will also decide issues that have a direct impact on their pocketbooks.  There are several tax proposals on the ballot in Missouri.  A race for US Senate could also change the balance of power in the federal government.

U.S. Senate Missouri – This is the seat currently held by Republican Roy Blunt. This is his first term in the Senate. He succeeded Kit Bond in 2010 after Bond decided not to run for re-election. Blunt served 14 years (7 terms) in the U.S. House of Representatives (January 1997 – January 2011). He also served at MO Secretary of State from 1984 – 1993.

He is being opposed by current Missouri Secretary of State Democrat Jason Kander. He is a former U.S. Army Captain, serving in the war in Afghanistan. He was a lawyer in the Kansas City area and represented Kansas City in the Missouri House of Representatives. He is completing his first term as Secretary of State.

This race could very well determine control of the U.S. Senate.

U.S. Senate Illinois – Republican Mark Kirk is wrapping up his first term in the U.S. Senate. Before that he served 10 years (5 terms) in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is a joined the U.S. Navy Reserves in 1989 and was called to active duty in 1999 where he participated in the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia and Operation Northern Watch in Iraq. IN 2012 he suffered a stroke and spent a year on leave from the Senate while recovering.

He is opposed by Democrat Tammy Duckworth. She has served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 4 years (2 terms). As a member of the Illinois Army National Guard, she was deployed to Iraq in 2004. In November of that year, the Black Hawk Helicopter she was piloting was hit by a Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG). She lost her legs and partial use of her right arm. She later became Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and Assistant Director of Veterans Affairs at the VA in Washington, D.C.

Duckworth has been leading most major polls. This is expected to be a pick-up for the Democrats.

Governor Missouri – Democrat Chris Koster is facing Eric Greitens in a battle to replace current Governor Jay Nixon who cannot run again because he is term-limited.

Koster is the current Missouri Attorney General. He is completing his 2nd term in that position. He replaced Jay Nixon when he ran for Governor and won in 2008. Before winning the AG election Koster changed parties from Republican to Democrat. He served in the Missouri Senate from 2004-2008. And before that he was the Cass County Prosecuting Attorney.

Republican Eric Greitens is a former Navy Seal. He served in Iraq and founded “The Mission Continues” a not-for-profit group that helps returning veterans find work. He has no political experience and is running as an “outsider.” Greitens once identified as a Democrat before switching parties.

This race once showed Chris Koster with a big lead, but has tightened in the closing days of the election.

Lt. Governor Missouri – Former Congressman Russ Carnahan if facing state senator Mike Parson.

Secretary of State Missouri – Former TV anchor Robin Smith who has no political experience is running against Jay Ashcroft son of former Missouri Governor and U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Jay Ashcroft is also a political newcomer.  His only previous experience is a failed run for state senate 2 years ago.

Treasurer Missouri – Democrat Judy Baker is a former State Representative. She ran for Lt. Governor in 2012 and lost. She is opposed by Republican Eric Schmitt. Schmitt is a current state senator representing much of West St Louis County.

Attorney General Missouri – Democrat Teresa Hensley, is the former Cass County Prosecutor until 2014. She is currently a lawyer in Kansas City. She is opposed by Republican Josh Hawley. Hawley is on leave from his position at the University of Missouri School of Law. He has no previous political experience.

Comptroller Illinois – This is a special election to serve the remainder of the 4-year-term. Governor Bruce Rauner appointed Republican Leslie Munger to succeed Judy Baar Topinka who died shortly after winning re-election in 2014. State lawmakers passed a law requiring a special election at the next statewide election to fill the position. Munger is facing Democrat Susana Mendoza. The Comptroller controls the state’s checkbook and with the state in a budget crisis, the job has gotten more attention. The winner will serve two years until having to go back to voters in 2018.

U.S. House of Representatives (MO-1) – Democrat Lacy Clay is seeking his ninth term in the House of Representatives. He was first elected in 2000. He is opposed by Republican Steven Bailey. Bailey is an attorney who is currently an adjunct professor teaching classes in retirement planning, and insurance and business law. The first congressional district encompasses all of St. Louis City, North County.

House of Representatives (MO-2) – Republican Ann Wagner is seeking her third term, having been elected in 2012. Prior to that, she served as U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg. She is opposed by Democrat Bill Otto. He is a former air traffic controller, Bridgeton City Council member and member of the Missouri House of Representatives. The second congressional district encompasses West County, portions of St. Charles, Jefferson and Lincoln Counties.

House of Representatives (MO-3) – Republican Blaine Luetkemeyer is seeking his fifth term, having been first elected in 2008. Before that he was a member of the Missouri House of Representatives. He is opposed by Democrat Kevin Miller. I can’t find any information about him. The third congressional district encompassesd 13 counties in East Central Missouri including portions of Jefferson County, Warren, Lincoln and Gasconade counties in our viewing area.

House of Representatives (MO-6) – Republican Sam Graves is seeking his ninth term, having first been elected in 2000. He previously served in the Missouri House and Senate. He is opposed by Democrat David Blackwell. He is a political newcomer. He currently works as a software developer. The sixth congressional district covers the entire northern 1/3 of the state from the Kansas border to the Illinois border. Pike County is the only county in the viewing area that is part of that district.

House of Representatives (MO-8) – Republican Jason Smith is seeking his second full term. He was first elected in a special election in June 2013 to replace Jo Ann Emerson who stepped down. He is opposed by Democrat David Cowell. He is a political newcomer. The eighth congressional district covers all of southeast Missouri from beginning in southern Jefferson County.

House of Representatives (IL-12) – Republican Mike Bost is seeking his second term in Congress. He ousted Bill Enyart two years ago. This is a seat that has been competitive ever since Jerry Costello decided not to run in 2012. Before getting into politics, Bost was a small business owner. Bost is opposed by Democrat C.J Baricevic. He is an attorney and small business owner. He comes from a politically connected family in Illinois. His father is current Chief Judge of the 20th Judicial Circuit and is former St. Clair County Board Chairman and former St. Clair County State’s Attorney. The 12th Congressional District encompasses all of southwestern Illinois including part of Madison County and all of St. Clair, Monroe and Randolph Counties in our viewing area.

House of Representatives (IL-13) – Republican Rodney Davis is seeking his third term in Congress. Before that he served as projects director for Congressman John Shimkus. He is opposed by Democrat Mark Wicklund. Wicklund only previous political experience was as a member of the Macon County Board from 2010-2013. The 13th Congressional District covers 14 Counties in Central and Southwestern Illinois. Including part of Madison and Bond Counties and all of Calhoun, Jersey, Greene, Macoupin and Montgomery Counties in our viewing area.

MO Constitutional Amendment 1 – Soil & Water Tax – This is a 10-year continuation for a 1/10-cent sales tax for soil and water conservation and for state parks and historical sites.

MO Constitutional Amendment 2 – Campaign Finance Reform – This would set limits on campaign contributions from individuals, political parties, or PACS. It would prohibit contributors from intentionally concealing the source of the contributions. It would require corporations and labor organizations to meet certain guidelines before being allowed to make contributions and it sets up a complaint process and penalites for violations.

MO Constitutional Amendment 3 – Cigarette Tax for childhood Health & Education Fund – This would increase sales taxes on cigarettes each year through 2020, at which time the tax will be an additional 60-cents per pack. It would create a fee to be paid by cigarette wholesalers of 67-cents per pack with the fee increasing annually. Money from the new taxes and fees will be deposited in a newly established Childhood Health and Education Fund. Proponents say they money cannot be touched for any other purposes. Opponents say there are hidden things in the amendment that would restrict embryonic stem cell research. American Cancer Society, American Lung Association and the NEA are just some of the organizations lined up to oppose this amendment.

MO Constitutional Amendment 4 – New Sales/use tax prohibition – This would prohibit new state or local sales/use taxes on any service or transaction that was not taxes as of January 1, 2015.

MO Constitutional Amendment 6 – Voter ID – This, in conjunction with a bill overridden by the General Assembly in September, will require voters to present a government issued photo ID (with some exceptions).

MO Proposition A – Cigarette Tax for Transportation – This would raise the tax on cigarettes 23-cents per pack by 2021. Sellers would also pay 5% of invoice price. The money from would be used to fund transportation infrastructure projects. There is a provision that the tax would be repealed if a measure to increase any tax or fee on cigarettes or other tobacco products is certified to appear on any local or statewide ballot. This is causing confusion. Its unclear what would happen if both cigarette taxes pass.

IL Amendment – This would require that all money derived from taxes, fees, excises or license taxes relating to registration, titles, operation or use of vehicles shall be expended only for transportation projects.

Twin Oaks Fourth Class City – Village of Twin Oaks in West St. Louis County is asking voters whether it should become a 4th class city. If it passes, along with other ballot measures, the new city would be able to hire a police chief, collector and set tax rates.

Vinita Park/Vinita Terrace Consolidation – This would consolidate the City and the Village into the City of Vinita Park.

East Alton/Wood River School Consolidation – This would combine East Alton-Wood River High School District 12, East Alton School District 13 and Wood River-Hartford School District 15 into one district.

Want to know what is on your specific ballot?  Check the voter’s guide here.