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Missouri Republican Primary 2012

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Rep. Todd Akin, who touted himself as the most conservative congressman in Missouri, won a hard-fought Republican primary Tuesday for the right to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill in a contest that could be pivotal for party control of the chamber.

Akin topped suburban St. Louis businessman John Brunner and former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman in a primary in which all three leading candidates tried to appeal to conservative voters and tea party activists. McCaskill, who bills herself as a political moderate, was unopposed in the Democratic primary.

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