Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Another Special Election Red To Blue Seat Flip-- This One In Missouri


Last night, when everyone was wondering if Democrats would be shut out of the Orange County races in California-- they weren't-- and while political junkies were watching congressional races in California, New Jersey, Iowa, New Mexico, South Dakota, Alabama, Mississippi and Montana, a more definitive race than a primary was happening in Missouri's 17th state senate district in the Kansas City Metro. The district has been vacant since then-Governor Eric Greitens appointed Republican Ryan Silvey to the Public Sevice Commission in January 2018. In 2016, Silvey had beaten Democrat Ranen Bechthold 51,262 (61.26%) to 32,422 (38.74%). It's a pretty red district. Both Trump and Romney had won it in 2016 and 2012.

Last night Democrat Lauren Arthur, who graduated magna cum laude from Smith College beat Republican Kevin Corlew by 19 points-- 14,674 (59.7%) to 9,917 (40.3%), the 42nd red-to-blue flip in state legislative races since the inauguration of Señor Trumpanzee. The district itself is fully in Clay County, but split between 2 congressional districts-- Emanuel Cleaver's 5th and Sam Graves' 6th. It includes Independence, Liberty, North Kansas City, Claycomo, and Gladstone.

Issue-wise, the two candidates represented their parties' positions pretty well-- she's no Blue Dog-type and he's not a RINO.
Tax cuts

Arthur believes the personal and corporate tax cuts passed this year by the legislature put Missouri's finances at risk. Corlew, on the other hand, says they will promote growth.


Corlew is "pro-life," and supports Missouri laws restricting access to abortion. He has said he believes in good health care and speeding up the adoption process.

Arthur backs abortion rights, saying she trusts each woman to make the right decision for herself. "I believe that when it comes to abortion, that's a decision that should be made by a woman, with her family, with her faith community and with her physician," Arthur said. "I don't think that's a decision that should be made by the Missouri legislature."


Corlew defends Missouri residents’ right to own a gun, and has said that we need to protect the Second Amendment. He said he also supports cracking down on loopholes in background checks and providing better mental health care to help curb gun violence.

Arthur is opposed to the state’s current law requiring no permit, license or registration to own a gun, and that she would not support a bill allowing guns in places where they were previously illegal, such as daycares, bars or college campuses.

Labor issues

Corlew has bucked his party to oppose anti-union legislation, but he has supported measures that protect businesses from consumer lawsuits and local minimum wage increases.

“I support making sure that we have an environment that creates the highest paying jobs possible, to make sure that our businesses can grow jobs and pay their workers much more than minimum wage," Corlew said. "I do believe minimum wage should be set at the statewide level."

Arthur has opposed state limits on minimum wages and has the endorsement of most local labor unions.

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