Some Missouri Democrats waiting to endorse a presidential candidate until after primary

Capitol Bureau
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — With Missouri’s presidential primary next week, the attention for many is on Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders in the Show-Me State.

Republicans hold super majorities in both the Missouri House and Senate, but Democrats looking to change that hope to win back some swing districts.

Several elected Democrats said they hope to have a presidential nominee who will energize voters in those suburban districts.

But for now, many of those Democrats in leadership roles are holding off endorsements until they see what their constituents say when they head to the polls Tuesday.

The one area of agreement for Missouri Democrats seems to be opposition to President Donald Trump.

“Our caucus is firmly on the side of the incumbent not being reelected,” said Senate Minority Leader John Rizzo (D-Independence).

One Congressional race already generating national attention involves Democratic State Sen. Jill Schupp gearing up for a challenge against Republican Congresswoman Ann Wagner. The choice Democrats make between Biden and Sanders could have an influence on that race.

For now, Schupp hasn’t taken a stand on which candidate she will support.

Sanders and Biden are scheduled to make campaign stops in Missouri before Tuesday.

“I think that’s great for the state of Missouri, I think it will get voters excited,” Schupp said. “But what I want to know is I want to hear from the people in our state and in my district about who they believe should be at the top of the ticket.”

For Republicans, there are other candidates on Tuesday’s primary ballot challenging Trump. But the Republican leadership in Jefferson City believes support for the President remains strong.

“At the end of the day, when you ask constituents a very basic question, ‘Are you better off now than you where four years ago?’ and generally the answer is yes,” Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia) said.

Missouri is one of six states holding either a primary or caucus on March 10.

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