Feb. 2 – Special Elections in Missouri State House Districts 27, 57 and 62
Three special elections for State House seats will be held in Missouri. Currently Republicans control the chamber 88-72 with three vacancies, but with a contentious election coming up in 2010, both parties will be looking for surprise victories in these elections.
The districts offer a fairly good spread of this bellweather state. District 27 is in Saint Joseph and was previously represented by a Democrat. Also formerly Democratic was District 57, an urban Saint Louis district. Lastly is a formerly Republican district in the far southwest of the state, surrounding Branson.
This seat opened up when Democratic State Rep. Ed Wildberger resigned to become Buchanan County Recorder of Deeds. In a fascinating twist on the race, two neighbors who live in the same apartment building in St. Joseph. Democrat Pat Conway is the Buchanan County Clerk, a position he has held since 1983. His website is here. Jason Gregory is the Republican in the race. He is the director of business development for Health Choice, a company that helps businesses and local governments lower their workers’ compensation costs. His website is here.
More competitive is District 57 which was vacated when Democratic Representative Talibdin El-Amin pled guilty to bribery charges and was forced to resign. The former Representative faces up to two years in prison. Democrat Hope Whitehead will be looking to clean up the mess. The St. Louis lawyer will be the heavy favorite, but she does face independent candidate Karla May, who was passed over by Democratic leaders and decided to run outside of the party line. May has a familiar last name as her mother, Parrie May, was a longtime Democratic City Alderman. Karla currently works for the Communications Workers of America.
This could have been an interesting race after Democratic governor Jay Nixon named Republican legislator Dennis Wood to be Commissioner of Stone County, but it wasn’t to be when the Democrat dropped out. Republican Nita Jane Ayres, a Branson realtor will most likely hold the seat for the party while facing competition from Libertarian Patty Tweedle. To read a news story about Tweedle’s entry into the race, click here.