Over the summer, hardcore anti-abortion Missouri Sen. Matt Bartle effortlessly fought off a primary challenge by pro-choice Rep. Bob Johnson. We imagined that the growing impatience of moderate Republicans with the far-right wing of their party might have made it a contest. We were so wrong. Bartle bludgeoned the hapless Johnson, despite refusing to take part in debates or grant newspaper interviews. (Instead, he smeared his opponent in mailers.) Bartle's campaign was orchestrated by our own little version of Karl Rove, the increasingly high-profile Republican strategist Jeff Roe. Bartle can't run for the state Senate again after this term, but we expect he has dreams of a loftier office. We also know that outgoing Jackson County Executive Katheryn Shields is considering a run for Kansas City mayor. We think Shields should wait and challenge Bartle for whatever public office he seeks next. Shields is widely known as a political scrapper, but we'd love to see how she and her own personal Democratic Party brain trust would fare going up against Bartle and Roe. She ought to move out to somewhere in Bartle's district -- say, Lake Lotawana -- and start planning her challenge now.