(Updated, 9:40 p.m. Thursday, April 30)

In a move long expected, Missouri Sen. Mike Parson, R-Bolivar, announced today that he’s running for Missouri governor in 2016.

And his top issue, he said in his kickoff address, "will be about protecting and fighting to expand the number one industry in our state - agriculture."

His entry also is expected to kick off a likely parade of rural GOP rivals.

By any conceivable measure, Missouri doesn’t have a particularly robust election cycle this year. But that doesn't mean that there aren't lessons to learn.

Even though this year's primary season featured fewer contested races than usual, the past few months still produced twists, turns and surprises. That’s especially true because a number of ballot initiatives were placed on the August ballot, making up for a relative dearth of competitive legislative contests.

A state House member from southwest Missouri says he'll seek a recount after a narrow loss in his Republican primary election.

Election results certified in Greene County this week show incumbent Thomas Long losing to challenger Jeff Messenger by 28 votes in the Aug. 7 primary. Long told the Springfield News-Leader on Wednesday he'll ask to have the ballots in the 130th House District counted again.

Missouri law allows candidates to request recounts if they lose by less than 1 percent of the total vote.

toner / Flickr

Five candidates who ran in this week's Missouri party primaries appear eligible for recounts.

missouri capitol
Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

Several Missouri legislators appear to have been defeated in their party primaries.

Unofficial results from Tuesday's elections show voters ousting a Democratic state senator from St. Louis and two House Democrats from the St. Louis area.

In southwestern Missouri, a Republican House member was trailing Wednesday in a race close enough that a recount could be requested.

In addition, newly redrawn House districts matched up Democratic incumbents in four St. Louis area races.

File / KBIA

The Missouri Senate has given first-round approval to legislation that would push back the filing period for the state’s August primaries by one month.

Although Tuesday’s presidential primary amounts to only a public opinion poll, it was not front runner Mitt Romney who took the Missouri, but Rick Santorum.

Former St. Charles County executive Joe Ortwerth heads the Missouri branch of Focus on the Family, a conservative activist group.

He says Missouri is known as a state that likes to send strong messages.

“And today, the Show-Me State declared that the Midwest and the people of the Midwest, are looking for a candidate with genuine conservative credentials, and Rick Santorum is that man,” Ortwerth said.         

Regional news coverage from the KBIA Newsroom, including:

  • Governor Jay Nixon's softening stance on collegiate budget cuts
  • A view of Missouri's "beauty pageant" of a primary
  • Missouri's prosecution of a company that fraudulently filed forms
File Photo / KBIA

Missouri’s presidential primary is today, but one of the leading GOP candidates is not on the ballot.

Newscast for February 7, 2012

Feb 7, 2012
File / KBIA

Regional news coverage from the KBIA news room, including:

Newscast for February 2, 2012

Feb 2, 2012
Senate floor at the Missouri Capitol
File / KBIA

Regional news coverage from the KBIA news room, including:

  • Democratic filibuster of workplace discrimination reform bill comes to an end
  • UM Curators meet in Kansas City to discuss possible tuition increases.
  • About a fourth of Missouri voters are expected to turn out for Missouri presidential primary next week
michaelrighi / flickr

An overflow crowd piled into an auditorium at St. Charles Community College Monday for an appearance by Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.