The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

October 30, 2012

Democrats campaign in Joplin on behalf of McCaskill; Gingrich in Kansas City for Akin

From staff reports

— Two Democratic candidates for statewide office stopped Tuesday at a Joplin coffeehouse, campaigning not just for themselves, but for U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, whose mother died Monday.

Chris Koster, a Democrat since 2007, is up for re-election as attorney general. He is being challenged by St. Louis attorney Ed Martin. Koster, a former Republican state senator, focuses on his previous service as Cass County prosecutor. Martin, a vocal Republican activist, worked under former Gov. Matt Blunt.

Jason Kander, of Kansas City, is seeking the office of secretary of state, which currently is held by Democrat Robin Carnahan, who is not running for re-election. Also seeking the office is Shane Schoeller of Springfield.

Kander told the group gathered at Joplin Downtown Coffee that the stop in Joplin was on McCaskill’s behalf.

“I know you expected to see Claire today,” Kander said. “We know she appreciates the turnout.”

McCaskill’s mother, Betty Anne Ward McCaskill, died Monday at her home in St. Louis after a long struggle with heart and kidney problems, according to The Associated Press.

McCaskill, a first-term Democratic senator, is being challenged by Republican Rep. Todd Akin. McCaskill had canceled most of her campaign events starting last week to spend time with her 84-year-old mother. She told The Associated Press that her mother suffered from acute cardio-renal failure and had lost consciousness at several points in recent days.

Newt Gingrich was in Kansas City on Tuesday and will also be there today campaigning with Akin to help raise his profile in the closing week of his campaign.