Despite Outside Funding for Foe, Judge Wins Cole County Race

MO_20203Despite a large injection of funding from a national political organization for her opponent, Cole County, Missouri Circuit Court Judge Pat Joyce defeated challenger Brian Stumpe on Tuesday.

The contest drew national media attention when the Republican State Leadership Committee supported prosecutor Stumpe. It backed him with nearly $300,000 in funding, including direct donation to the campaign and also for advertising critical of Judge Joyce.

The lower-court election took on outsized importance as the court’s jurisdiction includes challenges to the constitutionality of state laws and the language of ballot measures. Judge Joyce is a Democrat. Stumpe is a Republican.

The Associated Press said Stumpe did not answer a request for a comment on Tuesday night, but he said in an interview earlier, “Is there a negative backlash (from the outside advertising)?”

“Clearly.”