Perhaps the biggest story of Tuesday’s election in Missouri politics, apart from Republican Josh Hawley’s defeat of incumbent Claire McCaskill, was the strong showing by Missouri House Republicans.
Democrats expected a blue wave in Missouri that would help them cut into the Republican’s supermajority in the Missouri House and Senate. President Trump carried Missouri in 2016 by nearly 20 points.
Trump’s pre-election approval rating in Missouri hovered just above 50%. It was much higher in rural Missouri and lower in urban and suburban areas. President Trump, who has made 9 trips to Missouri since his election in 2016, is credited with fanning the flames of Republican fervency that helped Hawley upset McCaskill and drove Republican wins down their ticket. Hawley carried all but four Missouri counties and the City of St. Louis.
House Republicans surprised some political observers by holding their supermajority in the the Missouri House, maintaining a 116 to 47 seat advantage. While they lost three seats to Democrats, they also won three seats from them. Their supermajority in the Missouri Senate also remained unchanged with a 24 to 10 majority of seats.
The passage of constitutional Amendment 1 and Democrat Nicole Galloway’s election as Missouri State Auditor loom large over those Republican majorities. Barring any court setbacks for Democrats over legal challenges to Amendment 1, Galloway, who is the only current Democrat statewide office holder in Missouri, will appoint a state demographer, who will oversee the next round of redistricting in 2021.
The partisan double-edged sword strategy of Democrats to get Galloway elected and Amendment 1 passed may give them a huge advantage in the 2022 elections. Their newfound George Soros funded ability to gerrymander redistricting through Amendment 1 could help them eventually take back their majorities in the Missouri House and Senate that they held for decades until 2002.
Many Missouri voters can expect a future case of cognitive dissonance and regret if they were duped into voting for Amendment 1. As we reported, it was cleverly disguised in smoke and mirrors as a campaign finance bill, for which the changes were minimal to moderate at best.
The real liberal agenda of Amendment 1 was always the Democrat’s strategy to win back more seats in the Missouri House and Senate. They presently have large disadvantages in the number of seats held versus Republican supermajorities in both chambers.
The following are unofficial results of area races previously covered by the Metro Voice as provided by the Office of Missouri Secretary of State, Jay Ashcroft. Percentages of vote total are rounded to the nearest number and only the two major party candidates are listed.
DISTRICT 8 — Lee’s Summit/Blue Springs/Independence/Eastern Jackson County
Mike Cierpiot – 41,094, 54.7%
Hillary Shields – 34,052, 45.3%
Senator Mike Cierpiot, R–Lee’s Summit, defeated Democrat challenger Hillary Shields by a margin of more than 9% and over 7,000 votes. This was the second time the two candidates had faced off in the last year.
Cierpiot won a special election for the District 8 Senate seat a year ago against Shields in a race that included Jacob Turk, who ran as an independent candidate. In that special election, Cierpiot won the three-way race with Turk over Shields by a margin of 7.7%. Without Turk making this election a three-way race, Cierpiot won Tuesday night with a slightly higher margin of victory than he did in last year’s special election.
As the former Majority Floor Leader in the Missouri House of Representatives, Cierpiot has distinguished himself in his House and Senate tenures as a staunch conservative. He is also known for his compassionate commitment to advocating for persons with disabilities. His wife, Connie, is a former four-term Missouri State Representative.
Shield, who is a paralegal from Lee’s Summit, has been active politically for years as a grass roots organizer. She mounted a strong challenge to Cierpiot last year and even more so this year in a conservative leaning Senate district.
Until late in the race, she had raised more in campaign contributions than Cierpiot, but he closed that gap and exceeded her fundraising late in the contest. She is considered to be a possible future force in Lee’s Summit and Missouri politics.
MISSOURI HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
District 14 – Kansas City/Platte County
Matt Sain, R – 8,986, 50.2%
Kevin Corlew, R – 8,902, 49.8%
In a major upset of an incumbent and one of three pick-ups on the night for Missouri Democrats, Matt Sain, beat incumbent Kevin Corlew. Sain’s margin of victory was less than one-half percent, or just 66 votes. The razor thin margin should trigger an automatic recount.
Corlew, a two-term incumbent, serves as Chairman of the House Judiciary committee. He also ran for a special election last June for the District 17 Senate seat in Clay County.
Former Senator Ryan Silvey resigned that seat after being appointed by then Governor Eric Greitens to the Missouri Public Service Commission. Corlew was defeated in that special election by former Representative Lauren Arthur. She won that special election by a nearly 20% margin, which shocked and surprised many political observers.
Although a recount is pending, having to run twice for the Senate and House of Representatives within five months may have been too much for Corlew. Sain is a Law Clerk that moved from St.Louis to Kansas City in 2015.
District 17 – Kansas City/Clay County
Mark Ellebracht, D – 8,625, 56.7%
Mary Hill, R – 6,595, 43.3%
Incumbent Democrat, Mark Ellebracht, easily won a second term over Republican challenger Mary Hill by a 13% margin. Hill was the only candidate in the race endorsed by the Missouri Right to Life Political Action Committee. She has been an influential political activist, fighting for Right to Work in Missouri. Ellebracht benefited from District 17 being a Democrat leaning district and home to the Ford Claycomo plant.
District 20 – Independence/NE Jackson County
Bill E. Kidd, R – 8,198, 62.9%
Jessica Merrick, D – 4,846, 37.1%
Bill Kidd, a two-term incumbent Republican, won re-election against Democrat Jessica Merrick by an impressive margin of nearly 26%. Kidd, who is a businessman and Reserve Deputy Sheriff, kept District 20 in Republican hands, despite it being a much more Democrat leaning District than the election results showed. Kidd has shown in all three of his elections a strong bi-partisan ability to attract cross-over votes in a swing district.
District 23 – South Kansas City
Barbara Washington, D – 6,534, 88.3%
David Martin, R – 569, 7.7%
First term incumbent Democrat, Barbara Washington, easily won re-election in this South Kansas City District over Republican, David Martin. As the only candidate endorsed by Missouri Right to Life PAC, Martin has ran repeatedly for this seat. District 23 is heavily Democratic, earning Martin respect for repeatedly running as a Republican.
District 30 – Lee’s Summit/Independence
Jon Patterson, R – 9,135, 51.7%
Ryana Parks-Shaw 8,040, 45.5%
Republican Lee’s Summit Physician, Jon Patterson, won election to this open seat by a 7% margin over the Democrat nominee, Lee’s Summit health care executive, Ryana Parks-Shaw. Patterson will succeed Mike Cierpiot, who vacated the seat when he was elected to the 8th District Senate seat in last year’s special election and won that seat again on November 6th against Hillary Shields.
District 31 – Blue Springs
Dan Stacy, R – 8,340, 55.9%
Travis Hagewood, D – 6,589, 44.1%
First term incumbent Republican, Dan Stacy, defeated Democrat Travis Hagewood by a nearly 12% margin. Stacy won the seat two years ago after an upset of Sheila Solon in the 2016 Republican primary. Solon has since moved with her husband to St. Joseph, Missouri where she won the District 9 race on Tuesday night.
Stacy, who is a former college and high school music teacher and church worship, has forged a reputation as a strong conservative and is very active in Jackson County Republican activities.
District 32 – Blue Springs/Grain Valley
Jeff Coleman, R – 9,086, 60.7%
Janice Brill, D – 5,867, 44.1%
Jeff Coleman, a Republican businessman, easily won his first term in the Missouri House by a 16.6 margin. He defeated retired school teacher, Democrat Janice Brill. Coleman, who has served as a Grain Valley Alderman and school board member, will succeed term limited Jeanie Lauer, who will be serving in the Jackson County Legislature after running unopposed for that seat.
District 33 – Harrisonville/Jackson, Cass & Lafayette Counties
Donna Pfautsch, R – 10,564, 71%
Pat Williams, R – 4,315, 29%
Donna Pfautsch, a three-term Republican, had a resounding win in her final race for a fourth term in the Missouri House against Democrat, Mr. Pat Williams. Pfautsch, who holds a chairmanship in the Missouri House, represents a district that spans from Layfayette and Jackson County into Cass County to Harrisonville. Known as a dedicated public servant that is committed to constituent service, she was rewarded by voters with an extraordinary 42% margin of victory.
District 34 – Lee’s Summit/Greenwood/Eastern Jackson County
Rebecca Roeber, R – 8,871, 53.2%
James P. (Jim) Ripley, D – 7,791, 46.7%
Lee’s Summit two-term incumbent Republican, Rebecca Roeber, defeated Democrat, Jim Ripley, by a 6.5% margin. Roeber, who is a retired career public school teacher, serves as Vice-Chairman of the House Elementary and Secondary Education committee. Ripley is a retired school teacher and was a career law enforcement officer in the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
District 35 – Lee’s Summit/Kansas City/Raytown
Keri Ingle, D – 9,077, 53.1%
Tom Lovell, R – 8,005, 46.9%
Lee’s Summit social worker, Keri Ingle, won the open seat race for District 35 to replace Representative Gary Cross, who is term-limited. Ingle defeated Republican, Tom Lovell. As the Administrator for Lee’s Summit Parks and Recreation for nearly 40 years, Lovell was considered to have vastly superior name recognition in Lee’s Summit.
Democrats made the District 35 open seat a top target, pouring well over $100,000 into the race to support Ingle’s candidacy. Lovell stood out as the only area Republican candidate that did not receive the endorsement of the Missouri Right to Life PAC.
Republican incumbent, Gary Cross, held the 35th District seat for 8 years. Republican Will Kraus held it for 6 years before that. Ingle won the seat with an impressive margin of more than 1000 votes.
Her margin of victory in Lee’s Summit and a small portion of Raytown was only about 1.5%. The heavily Democrat portion of District 35 in Kansas City gave Ingle a decisive victory where she received nearly 60% of the vote.
District 37 – Grandview/South Kansas City/Lee’s Summit
John D. Boyd, Jr. – 6,226, 41%
Joe Runions 8,966 59%
Three-term Democrat, Joe Runions, cruised to victory over Republican John Boyd by a nearly 20% margin for his final term representing the heavily Democratic district. Boyd, a Missouri Right to Life PAC endorsed Air Force veteran, impressed Republicans with his tireless grassroots fundraising and support of other Republican candidates.
District 53 – Grandview/South Kansas City/Lee’s Summit
Glen Kolkmeyer – 9,942, 69.5%
Connie Simmons – 4.354, 30.5%
Odessa businessman, Glenn Kolkmeyer, won a fourth and final term in the Missouri House by a nearly 40% margin. His Democrat opponent, Connie Simmons, is a retiring school teacher. Kolkmeyer has served as member of the leadership team in the Missouri House or Representatives as Chairman of the House Republican Caucus.
District 55 & 56 – Raymore/Belton/Cass County
Republican Mike Haffner, won the open seat in District 55 held by Representative Rick Brattin, who is term-limited. Haffner was unopposed in his first general election bid for the Missouri House.
Representative Jack Bondon, a two-term Republican, was unopposed in his race for a third term in the Missouri House of Representatives.