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Koenig wins in west St. Louis County as GOP holds onto large legislative majorities

Koenig wins in west St. Louis County as GOP holds onto large legislative majorities

Koenig and Lavender

Rep. Deb Lavender (right) is challenging Sen. Andrew Koenig in the 15th Senate District

JEFFERSON CITY — The Republican representing a west St. Louis County state Senate district won decisively over his Democratic challenger Tuesday night.

State Sen. Andrew Koenig garnered 54% of the vote over state Rep. Deb Lavender, D-Kirkwood, winning by more than 9,000 votes out of nearly 112,000 cast, according to unoffical St. Louis County results.

After GOP wins in both competitive state Senate districts — in west St. Louis County and Columbia — Republicans were poised to maintain a 24-10 majority in the upper chamber. The GOP was also was projected to keep its two-thirds majority in the Missouri House.

Lavender predicted at 10:30 p.m. that she wouldn't be able to win the 15th Senate District. She said later Tuesday night that she had called Koenig to concede.

“I had a phenomenal team of people work on this race for 17 months,” Lavender said, adding that she didn’t know what she would do after her state House term ends in January.

“We worked hard; our opponent worked hard,” Koenig said at about 10:40 p.m. “Obviously want to see all the results come in. But we’re definitely very excited.

“I’ll continue working on the Senate like I have been, trying to work against corporate welfare, supporting law and order and supporting the police — exactly what I campaigned on,” he said.

Republicans were also defending the 19th Senate District, which takes in Boone and Cooper counties in mid-Missouri.

With all precincts reporting unofficial results, Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, narrowly defeated Democrat Judy Baker, 52% to 48%.

A win by Baker would’ve set off a scramble among Senate Republicans, who would be forced to choose a new majority leader.

With all ballots counted, state Rep. Doug Beck, D-St. Louis County, was winning 55% of votes in the race to represent the 1st Senate District, which stretches from south county north to Brentwood. Republican businessman David Lenihan won 45% of the vote.

Democrats failed to make significant ground in the GOP-dominated Missouri House. The party's only bright spot appeared to be in the Springfield-based 135th District, where Democrat Betsy Fogle hung to a tenuous 34-vote lead against Republican incumbent state Rep. Steve Helms.

Green Party candidate Vicke Kepling likely siphoned support from Fogle, winning 681 votes, or nearly 4% of the total vote, according to unofficial returns.

In the Independence-based 21st District, Democratic Rep. Robert Sauls was leading Republican challenger Vicki Riley by 25 votes.

In the Kansas City suburbs, Republican Rick Roeber was winning by 345 votes against Democrat Chris Hager in the race for the 34th House District, according to unofficial results.

Roeber's children have accused him of physical and sexual abuse, speaking to the Kansas City Star ahead of the election. Some Republicans had called on voters to reject the candidate.

Rep. Trish Gunby, D-Ballwin, defeated Republican challenger Lee Ann Pitman by 371 votes out of more than 20,600 cast, according to unofficial results.

If all holds, Republicans will hold a 114-49 majority next year, with Democrats gaining one seat.

Republicans hung on to the south St. Louis County-based 94th District, according to unofficial results. Republican state Rep. Jim Murphy was winning 53% of the vote, beating Democrat Jean Pretto, with all polling places reporting results.

In St. Charles County, with all precincts reporting results, Rep. Tom Hannegan, R-St. Charles, easily defeated Democrat Bill Otto, 54% to 46%.

Though St. Charles County had reported all results for all precincts earlier in the night, showing multiple Republicans winning by wide margins, new results available after midnight showed Republicans winning by smaller margins.

In the open 106th District, according to unofficial results, with all precincts reporting, Republican Adam Schwadron defeated Democrat Cindy Berne after winning 51% of the vote.

Meanwhile, Democratic state Rep. Steven Roberts, D-St. Louis, won election in the 5th Senate District, succeeding term-limited state Sen. Jamilah Nasheed in a heavily Democratic district that covers most of the eastern half of St. Louis.

And Angela Walton Mosley is set to replace term-limited state Sen. Gina Walsh, D-Bellefontaine Neighbors, after winning in the heavily Democratic 13th Senate District, covering north St. Louis County.

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