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Nov. 13, 2017JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. |  By: AP

Critics charge out-of-state political action committees of influencing Missouri elections

A new law that caps donations to state political candidates didn't stop two political action committees from helping a Missouri Senate candidate win a seat in the Legislature.

Republican Mike Cierpiot, of Lee's Summit, defeated Democrat Hillary Shields in Tuesday's election to take the state Senate seat out of Jackson County. The Kansas City Star reports two political action committees spent more than $400,000 in October to help Cierpiot and attack Shields. Cierpot's campaign spent another $353,000. Shields spent only $48,000.

Last year, Missouri voters approved caps on donations to state political candidates. But the law doesn't cap donations from groups outside the state or consultants, and critics say that has shifted influence in Missouri politics from candidates to outside groups.