After a long and sometimes difficult fall campaign, voters will get their chance to choose on Tuesday.
Here’s a guide to The Star’s endorsements for key races and issues in Missouri.
U.S. Senate: Claire McCaskill. The two-term incumbent has a long history of public service — as a state legislator, a prosecutor, Missouri’s auditor and a U.S. senator. McCaskill, a Democrat, has demonstrated independence and thoughtfulness throughout her career.
She’s right on the issues. She wants to repair the Affordable Care Act while maintaining protections for Missourians who might lose insurance because of pre-existing medical conditions. McCaskill has shown a willingness to pursue bipartisan solutions to problems such as drug abuse and immigration.
Attorney General Josh Hawley’s campaign has been disappointing. He has criticized McCaskill unfairly and inaccurately. At the same time, important and troubling questions have been raised about the mix of politics and public business in Hawley’s office.
And Hawley, a Republican, would provide no check on Trump’s excesses. For that reason alone, Missourians should elect McCaskill.
Missouri Auditor: Nicole Galloway. She has shown great skill in executing the responsibilities of this important office. Galloway, a Democrat, has saved taxpayers millions of dollars while holding public officials of both parties to account.
Opponent Saundra McDowell has had well-documented financial difficulties; her residency is in dispute; and the Republican candidate has shown little evidence she can handle the job.
Amendment 1: Yes. The so-called Clean Missouri initiative would bring ethics reform to a state that badly needs it. The measure would limit gifts from lobbyists, improve transparency in the legislature and slow down the revolving door of lawmakers becoming lobbyists.
Some are worried about changes to the state’s redistricting process. If Amendment 1 passes, much of the work of new districts would be turned over to a nonpartisan demographer.
Missourians should not be afraid of districts being drawn more fairly, and they should embrace efforts to combat corruption in Jefferson City.
Amendment 2: Yes. This measure is one of three ballot issues involving the legalization of medical marijuana. We recommend a yes vote on this proposal, which would reasonably tax medical marijuana at 4 percent. It’s also a constitutional amendment, which makes it harder for the legislature to overturn.
Amendment 3: No. This proposal would tax medical marijuana at a much higher rate than Amendment 2, and it appears to be the effort of just one man. It’s important to vote no here if you support Amendment 2.
Proposition B: Yes. This measure would increase Missouri’s minimum wage over several years, reaching $12 an hour by 2023. It would give the state’s poorest workers a much-needed raise.
Proposition C: No. This is the third marijuana ballot question; Amendment 2 is the best proposal.
Proposition D: Yes. This measure would raise the state fuel tax by 10 cents a gallon over four years. It would pay for the Highway Patrol and critical infrastructure repairs in Missouri.
Jackson County Question 1: Yes. The measure would limit terms for county legislators, provide a raise, limit the county executive’s power and enact needed ethics reforms.
Jackson County Question 2: No. The other questions would limit the power of the county executive, negating the need for the pay raise included in this measure.
Jackson County Question 3: Yes. This includes term limits, ethics reform and a raise for the sheriff. It would give the sheriff control of the jail, where it should be.
Jackson County Questions 4: Yes. This measure calls for term limits, ethics reform and a raise for the county prosecutor. It would give the prosecutor control of the COMBAT anti-drug sales tax.
Jackson County Question 5: Yes. This question would extend the Jackson County Legislature’s control of the county counselor. It’s an important improvement.
Jackson County Question 6: No. This proposal would change qualifications for the county’s municipal court. It’s unnecessary.
Jackson County Question 7: No. This measure would limit potential candidates for county positions. That’s wrong.
Kansas City Library tax: Yes. The libraries are critically important for the community and haven’t had a levy increase in more than two decades.