KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri voters have elected Republican attorney Jay Ashcroft as secretary of state.
Ashcroft had a considerable advantage in name recognition over his Democratic opponent, Robin Smith. He's the son of John Ashcroft, a former Missouri governor, U.S. senator and U.S. attorney general.
Smith, a former television news reporter and first-time candidate, would have been the first black candidate to win statewide elected office in Missouri.
Ashcroft will replace Democratic Secretary of State Jason Kander as the state's top election officer when his term ends in January.
Only two other Republicans have served as the state's top election officer since World War II. The office last was held by a Republican in 2005, when Matt Blunt was in office.