Missouri has had only two Republican secretaries of state since World War II, and both had the last name of Blunt.
The GOP is poised to make a strong run at changing that pattern this year, especially if voters also embrace the concept that people should be required to show photo identification at the polls.
St. Louis lawyer Jay Ashcroft has name recognition on his side as the son of John Ashcroft, a former Missouri governor, U.S. senator and U.S. attorney general. His top Republican rival is state Sen. Will Kraus.
Both have led the charge toward establishing a photo ID law in the state, but in different ways.
The Democratic slate is led by retired St. Louis television news anchor Robin Smith, who's a staunch photo ID laws opponent.