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Tuesday night, local Republicans gathered at the Ramada Oasis Convention Center in north Springfield for the Greene County Republican Watch Party. KSMU’s Rebekah Clark spoke with several candidates, including Secretary of State candidate Shane Schoeller. who eventually lost in a neck-and-neck race with Jason Kander.
[nat sound: people milling around, talking]
Party-goers portrayed an array of different feelings throughout the night. Toward the beginning of the watch, many people rallied together from table to table, expressing sentiments of optimism for Republicans all over the country.
[nat sound: People chanting]
Sharlet Osterkamp and her husband, Elwin, are from Niangua, Missouri. Dressed in matching black cowboy hats, they say that they are the quote, “Beverly Hillbillies going to the city.” Sharlet says they aren’t ones to get out much, but supporting local Republicans is worth it.
“I’m moving to Mexico if Obama wins because, my goodness, there’s going to be nowhere else to go.”
Associate County Commissioner Roseann Bentley enters the watch party with her family. She stands beside her grandkids: one is John, an eighteen-year-old who voted for the first time this election.
Bentley: I’m always nervous; this is my third time to run for county commission. You never take anything for granted.
Reporter: Do you think that experience is going to help you now?
Bentley: You know, I hope so. Sometimes you have to deal with things that make people like you more and some like you less.
Bentley was successful in her bid for reelection, as was her colleague Harold Bensch.
Secretary of State candidate Shane Schoeller campaigned on the issues of Missouri voters needing a photo ID at the poles, and also promised he would write fair and clear-worded ballot summaries if elected. He arrived to the watch party with a crowd of people lined up to greet him.
“Oh, this is tremendous. I think we’ve had this turn out about every two years. Greene County has always been a tremendously conservative area, and it’s great to see so many folks coming together to help support all the candidates that are here tonight.”
Although several state representatives were victorious—including Elijah Haahr, Lincoln Hough, Lyndall Fraker and Eric Burlison—one Republican, Melissa Leach, was defeated by Democrat Charlie Norr.
The Republicans also came out with strong victories in Missouri’s 7th and 8th Congressional district races: Billy Long and Jo Ann Emerson both won with commanding leads.
For KSMU News, I’m Rebekah Clark.