Area voters decisively returned incumbents to the Missouri General Assembly on Tuesday.
In the Missouri Senate, Republican Mike Cierpiot of Lee’s Summit defeated Hillary Shields, D-Lee’s Summit, for the District 8 seat for the second year in a row, earning a full term after he won a special election last year.
Cierpiot won 54.61 percent of the vote to Shields’ 45.25, to win the district that is mostly Blue Springs and Lee’s Summit and includes a portion of southeast Independence.
Cierpiot said he most looking forward to working with Governor Mike Parson on job readiness and workforce development issues.
“The governor has been traveling the state, talking to people, and I think we’re going to have some dynamite things,” Cierpiot said.
While this year’s race was simpler, with no independent candidate, Cierpiot said essentially having two races in a year was the most difficult thing.
“I salute Hillary,” he said. “I know she worked her tail off, but I think this district is a little more conservative than she would offer.”
Jeff Coleman, R-Grain Valley, defeated Janice Brill, D-Grain Valley, in District 32, succeeding term-limited Republican Jeanie Lauer. Coleman, who has been a school board member and an alderman in Grain Valley, said he was content to stay local, but he gave the statehouse election some prayerful consideration after he was asked to consider running.
“Now that I’ve gotten in, I’m excited about it,” said Coleman, whose district includes northern Blue Springs, most of Grain Valley and Oak Grove and areas north of those cities.
Outside of working with Rep. Glen Kolkmeyer on a tort reform measure that could make the state more attractive for businesses, Coleman said he’s going in with no particular agenda and has asked about joining the transportation, insurance and economic development committees.
Jon Patterson, R-Lee’s Summit, won Cierpiot’s old Missouri House seat, District 30, which includes parts of south Independence, Blue Springs and northern Lee’s Summit.
Patterson defeated Democratic opponent Ryana Parks-Shaw with 52.34 percent of votes, with one precinct still out. Parks-Shaw captured 44.07 percent of votes. Libertarian Brad Eichstadt claimed 2.86 percent of votes.
Incumbents won other races. Dan Stacy, R-Blue Springs, earned a second term representing District 31, Bill Kidd, R-Independence, will return for a third term representing District 20, Donna Pfautsch, R-Harrisonville, will return for her fourth term representing District 33, and Ingrid Burnett, D-Kansas City, will return for a second term in District 19.
• Stacy defeated Democratic opponent Travis Hagewood 55.79 percent to 44.07 percent. The district includes most of the Blue Springs area, Lake Tapawingo and small parts of Lee’s Summit and Independence.
• Kidd defeated Democratic opponent Jessica Merrick, 62.75 percent to 37.09 percent. The district runs from Sugar Creek to northeast Independence to Buckner.
• Burnett beat Green Party opponent Valorie Engholm, 67.35 percent to 31.07 percent. The district includes parts of Sugar Creek and northwest Independence, as well as northeast Kansas City.
• Pfautsch overtook Democrat Pat Williams with 70.99 percent of the vote, as compared to Williams’ 29 percent. District 33 covers much of Grain Valley and Lake Lotawana, a small portion of southeast Blue Springs and the southern part of Oak Grove.
• Glen Kolkmeyer, R-Odessa, easily won a fourth term in District 53, capturing 69.54 percent of the vote against Connie Simmons. The district is mostly in Johnson and Lafayette counties but includes part of the eastern edge of Jackson County, including Levasy.
• Jerome Barnes, D-Raytown, swept to a second term in District 28, winning 77.38 of the vote against Libertarian Jeremy Utterback. The district includes most of Raytown and southwest Independence south of U.S. 40.
Rory Rowland, D-Independence, and Brandon Ellington (D-Kansas City) ran unopposed to represent districts 29 and 22, respectively. Robert Sauls (D-Independence) won his District 21 primary and was unopposed in the general election to succeed term-limited Ira Anders. Those districts cover the central, western and northern portions of Independence, respectively, as well as portions of eastern Kansas City.