Missouri voters cast ballots in key senate race


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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP)- Polls have opened in Missouri as voters cast ballots to decide whether to send Democrat Claire McCaskill back to the Senate and approve ballot measures that would raise the minimum wage and allow medical marijuana.

McCaskill is running against Josh Hawley, the young challenger backed by President Donald Trump. Hawley, the 38-year-old, Ivy-league educated state attorney general, says the 65-year-old McCaskill is too liberal for Missouri. Trump won the state by 19 points in 2016.

McCaskill campaigned as a moderate and focused on health care issues. Republicans badly want to defeat McCaskill after she survived in 2012 when her opponent made a major gaffe.

Missouri voters also will face ballot measures Tuesday to raise the gas tax and a major change to drawing district boundaries after the 2020 census.

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