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Lawmakers React to Democratic Victory in Lawrence County


On Tuesday, voters in Lawrence County chose a democrat to represent them in the state House of Representatives. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports from Jefferson City.

The House seat opened up when Republican Jack Goodman vacated it after winning a state senate race.

Republican Eric Seifried and Democrat Charles Dake were on the ballot Tuesday in Lawrence County...Dake won by 11 percent.

Two other House seats were also open Tuesday...Both were in the St Louis area...A democrat won the seat vacated by a democrat and a republican won the seat vacated by a republican.

Republican Governor Matt Blunt reacted to the outcome.

For some lawmakers, the outcome in Lawrence County was unexpected. Republican Representative Maynard Wallace.

If it was a wake up call for Republicans, it was cause to celebrate for democrats.

Jeff Harris is the Democratic Leader in the House...He says it was a surprising victory.

News of the upset disappointed many Republicans, including the Republican leadership.

House Speaker Rod Jetton says he believes Charles Dake won the race because he ran on Republican issues.

Because this was a special election, Dake will have to decide before the end of the month if he wants to run again in the general election in November.

House Speaker Rod Jetton says Dake's victory in the special election is NOT a referendum on the policies of the Republican controlled General Assembly and Republican Governor Matt Blunt.

But democrats say they can claim victory in Tuesday's elections because they won 2 seats and came close to winning third.

Democratic House Leader Jeff Harris.

Some Republicans say the outcome in Lawrence County doesn't give them a reason to worry about November.

Republican Representatives Jay Wasson and Darrell Pollock say it's more of a fluke.

Pollock speaks first then Wasson.

There will be another special election this Spring to fill the seat vacated by Republican Senator Jon Dolan.