Missouri Minute: Parson leads GOP sweep of statewide offices; record COVID-19 hospitalizations recorded in St. Louis

Good morning, MBA readers,

Though the presidential race remained muddled early Wednesday, with counting of ballots continuing in multiple undecided states, the winners of statewide contests in Missouri were crystal clear Tuesday night. Republican candidates swept the five statewide offices up for grabs, winning by at least 16 points in every race. Gov. Mike Parson led the way, defeating his Democratic challenger, State Auditor Nicole Galloway, by a margin of 57.2% to 40.6%. Missourians also voted for President Donald Trump over former Vice President Joe Biden by a margin of nearly 16 points. Next up for Parson: The special session of the Missouri Legislature that he called is supposed to start Thursday to address COVID-19 budget issues. Also Tuesday, voters in Missouri’s 1st Congressional District cemented a historic first. Cori Bush, the St. Louis activist who upset longtime incumbent Lacy Clay in August’s Democratic primary, won in Tuesday’s general election by a wide margin. In January, she will become the first Black woman to represent Missouri in Congress.


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Parson leads GOP sweep of statewide offices; redistricting changes rolled back
Gov. Mike Parson was elected for his first full term as governor, defeating Democratic challenger Nicole Galloway as GOP candidates won all five statewide elected offices decided Tuesday. Amendment 3 passed with 51% approval, effectively undoing the “Clean Missouri” measure voters approved in 2018. (MBA)

Bush to become Missouri’s first Black woman in Congress as incumbents hold other seats
Democrat Cori Bush, an activist from St. Louis, won handily in Missouri’s 1st Congressional District. In the 2nd District, incumbent Republican Rep. Ann Wagner defeated Democrat Jill Schupp, a former state lawmaker, by four points. The state’s other six Congressional incumbents cruised to decisive victories. (MBA)

Missouri Supreme Court refuses to hear Johnson & Johnson appeal
The state’s top court let a lower court’s decision stand in a case that awarded $2.12 billion in damages to women who blamed their ovarian cancer on asbestos in Johnson & Johnson baby powder and other talc products. (Reuters)

COVID-19 hospitalizations reach record high in St. Louis 
The seven-day average for COVID-19 patients admitted to St. Louis-area hospitals each day reached a record high on Monday. Hospitals warned they may have to limit elective procedures to free up capacity. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Boone County extends face mask order through Nov. 18 
After a spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations in Boone County, public health officials extended an order requiring face coverings to be worn in public. (Columbia Missourian)

HVAC systems manufacturer to add second St. Louis-area location
Cambridge Air Solutions will expand with a facility in Wentzville. The Chesterfield-based company is adding the location amid increased demand for its air systems because of COVID-19. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Housing starts rise in St. Louis area amid pandemic 
The region saw an 8% year-over-year increase, with 4,265 single-family housing starts through September. The homebuilding industry, which faced uncertain prospects at the start of the pandemic, has experienced booming growth with demand for homes increasing. (St. Louis Business Journal)


Say that again

“It is imperative that the relationship between private business and government be one of collaboration. I am hoping that we are given a voice at the table that is heard and respected, just as we have heard and respected you.”

That’s Chelsea Bessey, a manager at Logboat Brewing, who spoke Monday at a Columbia City Council meeting on behalf of her company and others in the city that have struggled financially under the restrictions outlined in a local health order, the Columbia Missourian reports. Currently, restaurants and bars stop selling alcohol at 10:30 p.m., which Bessey said has resulted in a $70,000 loss of tax revenue from Logboat’s sales. The City Council is considering extending the health order because of a recent rise in COVID-19 cases, a move that would likely cause the businesses to continue losing revenue.


Go figure

$2 billion

That is the new estimated cost of additional settlements related to Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller that Bayer is expecting to pay, Bloomberg reports. This marks a $750 million increase from the company’s previous estimate of remaining payouts. Bayer, which acquired Creve Coeur-based Monsanto in 2018, in that process inherited numerous lawsuits alleging the popular weedkiller causes cancer. The German conglomerate on Tuesday also reported quarterly profits and sales that missed Wall Street expectations, citing the pandemic’s effect on demand for agricultural and pharmaceutical products. Sales for the company’s Creve Coeur-based crop science unit fell 12% in the third quarter.


Hello my name is

Prism

Kansas City-based companies Tesseract Ventures and Lumen Touch have combined their creative talents on this new educational wearable device, the Kansas City Business Journal reports. Prism combines Tesseract’s product and skills in artificial intelligence and advanced robotics with Lumen’s educational software. The new device will trace contacts and interactions among students and teachers to aid in coronavirus contact tracing. Prism’s creators hope to develop the product beyond these features to act as a lunch ticket that prevents students from purchasing foods that might cause allergic reactions. They also envision integrating the product into students’ learning, with Prism serving as a digital record of skills a student has mastered.


It’s been a pleasure doing business with you this morning.



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