The 1996 State elections will be remembered for their heated and nasty advertisements. Both Democrats and Republicans are guilty of waging mudslinging campaigns.
The Republicans were handed what appeared to be a politician's dream. Just five days before the general election, former House Speaker Bob Griffin was indicted on charges of influence peddling.
Despite that indictment, and republican efforts to capitalize on allegations of misconduct, the G-O-P failed to make any significant changes in statewide offices.
Democtrats swept all five contested statewide office. Leaving Margaret Kelley as the lone Republican holding a statewide cabinet position.
While the G-O-P did capture eight seats in the State Legislature, the Democratics continue to be the majority party in both houses.
Tracy Sadeghian has the story from the State Capitol...
The mud flew fastest and hardest in the race for Secretary of State.
Just one day after former House Speaker Bob Griffin was indicted, Republican challenger, John Hancock, ran a rash of ads linking his democrat opponent Bekki Cook to Bob Griffin.
Hancock accused Cook of helping Griffin get reelected to his position by illegally keeping the House floor open until the vote went his way.
Despite those ads, Cook beat Hancock by three-percent to remain Secretary of State.
Ironically, despite being involved in one of the dirtiest campaigns, defeated Secretary of State candidate John Hancock says the system needs changing...
Hancock says politicians should be held accountable for their tactics. He wants political candidates -- and not actors -- to deliver the attacks in future ads.
Hancock suggests that would help stem the mudslinging.
The negative overtones from the Secretary of State's race have sparked statewide debate over the use of dirty ads.
Daryl Duwe is Communications Director of the State Republican Party.
He says he supports negative advertising...when it's done to tell the truth.
Duwe thinks the anti-Griffin ads run by the Hancock campaign would have been more effective if voters had more time to think about the implications of the case...
Duwe says he feels negative ads are a vital and effective way to inform the electorate of wrongdoing...because the press isn't getting the job done.
State Democratic Party Chairman Joe Carmichael disagrees.
He says the mudslinging had little to do with the way Missourians cast their votes...
Carmichael says ads should focus on a candidate's record and position on the issues.
It appears negative ads, at least in Missouri, really didn't effect the way people voted.
It remains to be seen whether the candidate bashing left the electorate more cynical and disenchanted.
Those effects may not be seen until the year two-thousand.
Daryl Duwe remains hopeful about the future of Missouri Republicans...