In a close race, Robert Sauls on Tuesday won the Democratic primary for Missouri House of Representatives in District 21 by just 33 votes.

Sauls prevailed with 37.28 percent of the vote (1,341). Dan O’Neill trailed close behind, capturing 36.36 percent (1,308 votes), while Holmes Osborne took 26.36 percent (948 votes).

Facing no Republican opposition, Sauls will succeed Ira Anders, a term-limited Democrat first elected in 2010, and take office in January.

“Ira did a really, really good job, and I want to follow in his footsteps,” Sauls said.

This goal led Sauls, a veteran and attorney raised by a single mother in Independence, to knock on more than 1,000 doors. He described the process as “eye-opening.”

“At the end of the day, I’ve learned so much. I will take that with me to Jefferson City and use it as a starting point,” Sauls vowed. “I’ve dedicated my life to public service, and that’s what I want to keep doing.”

District 21 encompasses much of Independence, from west of the Square, east to Susquehanna and south to almost Centerpoint Medical Center.