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Other statewide offices decided

November 03, 2004
By: Ben Welsh
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - Twenty years after Margaret Kelly became the first woman to hold statewide office in Missouri, female candidates were elected to two of Missouri's top offices Tuesday. Voters also reelected their head prosecutor to a fourth term.

Democrat Robin Carnahan, daughter of former governor Mel Carnahan, was voted secretary of state, Republican state Senator Sarah Steelman was elected Treasurer and Democrat Jay Nixon was reelected attorney general. The Lieutenant Governor's race between Democrat Bekki Cook and Republican Peter Kinder was too close to call at the time of this writing but Kinder held nearly a 47,000 vote lead with more than 97 percent of precincts reporting.

Robin Carnahan defeated Missouri House Speaker Catherine Hanaway in the race for secretary of state, a position being vacated by the Republican gubernatorial candidate, Matt Blunt who declared victory. Hanaway conceded her race after she fell behind in early election results.

Carnahan is the daughter of Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan, who was in the midst of a campaign for the US Senate, when he died in a plane crash just weeks before the election in 2000.

Sarah Steelman a Republican state senator from Rolla, won the treasurer's race, out-pacing the Democratic candidate, Arnold Mayor Mark Powell.

Steelman, 46, who was reelected to her second term as a state senator in 2002, will now take over a position that has vaulted three of its last four holders to higher office, including two to the governor's mansion.

Attorney General Jay Nixon was reelected to his fourth term as the state's top prosecutor defeating Republican candidate Chris Byrd.