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Examiner
  • Most local incumbents return to reshuffled legislative seats

  • Voters on Tuesday re-elected most Eastern Jackson County incumbents in the Missouri House of Representatives, although Republican Brent Lasater of Independence lost to Democratic challenger John A. Mayfield in a northeast Independence district.

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  • Voters on Tuesday re-elected most Eastern Jackson County incumbents in the Missouri House of Representatives, although Republican Brent Lasater of Independence lost to Democratic challenger John A. Mayfield in a northeast Independence district.
    Although incumbents ran well on Tuesday, each was running in a newly redrawn district following the 2010 census.
    Also, former state Rep. Paul LeVota, a Democrat, ran unopposed for a Missouri Senate seat that includes most of Independence.
    District 20
    Lasater, seeking a second term, narrowly lost to Mayfield, who got 7,676 votes to Lasater’s 7,498. That’s 50.31 percent to 49.14 percent.
    “First of all, I give credit to my lord and savior Jesus Christ. I feel blessed that the people of the 20th District have enough confidence in me to serve in Jefferson City,” Mayfield said. “I thank Rep. Lasater for his two years of service. I was expecting a very close race, a very difficult race. I will make sure to do the best job I can for the people in the district and in Missouri.”
    District 20 encompasses much of the old 53rd District. The new area, created after redistricting last year, includes northeast Independence, Sugar Creek, Buckner and Sibley.
    District 31
    In one of the most closely watched local House races, Republican Sheila Solon of Blue Springs won a second term, turning back a challenge by Democrat Dale Walkup, president of the Blue Springs Board of Education.
    Solon received 9,492 votes (55.99 percent) compared with Democrat Dale Walkup, who received 7,368 votes (43.46 percent). There were 92 write-in votes (.54 percent).
    The 31st District covers Blue Springs south of Interstate 70 and west of Missouri 7 as well as a handful of neighborhoods east of M-7. It also covers the Fleming Park area in Lee’s Summit.
    “It is very gratifying that the people of District 31 have given me the opportunity to return to Jefferson City to represent their best interest,” Solon said of being re-elected to a second term. “As always, I will work hard to represent District 31, passing legislation to help the people of Missouri and the District.”
    District 21
    Despite an almost entirely new district, Ira Anders will once again serve in the House as the District 21 representative.
    Anders received 8,673 votes (57.85 percent) compared with Vicki Riley’s 6,248 votes (41.67 percent). There were 72 write-in votes (.48 percent).
    District 21 encompasses northern Independence from just east of Englewood through the Square. It also goes as far north as Hawthorne Place at Missouri 291 and U.S. 24 and south to the Blackburn Elementary area.
    Anders, who will be serving a second term, said the 21st District only encompasses about 18 percent of his former district. This meant, he said, there were a lot of new people to meet and a lot of new doors to knock on during his campaign.
    Page 2 of 3 - “Obviously, we are quite happy about the results. Apparently the people have enough confidence in me to continue serving,” he said of his re-election. “I will continue to work with public education funding to see what I can do to improve it. I am not sure what else will come up in the legislature, but I will do what is best for the Independence area and the district.”
    District 28
    Democrat Tom McDonald, who’d been elected to two terms in the old 49th District, was re-elected for a third term in the new 28th District, defeating Raytown Alderman and high school swimming coach Jim Aziere. The new district includes a portion of southern Independence, most of Raytown and a sliver of Kansas City.
    With all precincts reporting from the Jackson County Election Board, but not including the precincts from Kansas City, McDonald received 7,128 votes (55.22 percent) compared with Aziere’s 5,723 votes (44.34 percent).
    “In looking at all of the numbers and history of the area I was running in, I was confident that I was going to win,” McDonald said. “I’m confident that I’m going to have a lot of good things to get done this term. I’ve made a lot of friends, and now I feel like I can make a difference for the 28th District this term.”
    Aziere could not be reached for comment by press time.
    District 29
    Noel Torpey says he is ready to take on a second term in Jefferson City. Torpey, a Republican, was re-elected in the new 29th District, which runs roughly from 23rd Street in central Independence south into parts of Kansas City.
    With 14 out of 15 precincts reporting from the Jackson County Election Board, but not including the precincts from Kansas City, Torpey received 6,810 votes (56.75 percent) compared to his opponent John Sutton’s 5,142 votes (42.85 percent).
    “I’m just grateful for all of the support that I’ve gotten – a special thanks to my kids and my wife, course,” Torpey said. “Knocking on doors and talking to people and hard work really shows – putting party aside and talking about issues really matters. I’ve met thousands of constituents over the last six months, and I’m grateful for them giving me a chance to represent them in Jefferson City.”
    Sutton could not be reached for comment by press time.
    District 32
    Republican incumbent Jeanie Lauer of Blue Springs easily won a second term, defeating Democrat Sherbaz Khan of Kansas City, winning 10,992 votes (66.47 percent) to Khan’s 5,433 votes (32.85 percent).
    “I’m very pleased,” Lauer said of winning in the district that includes the northern part of Blue Springs and most of Grain Valley and Oak Grove. “We’ve put a lot of work into serving the people of the district and look forward to continuing that. I think this shows that we did a very favorable job in the minds of the voters.”
    Page 3 of 3 - Lauer said she was ready to get back to work today.
    “We’re headed to Jefferson City to meet in caucus, put together some legislation for the next session and work on some upcoming issues, so it’s full speed ahead,” she said.
    District 30
    Incumbent Mike Cierpiot, a Republican from Lee’s Summit, won a second term, defeating Democrat Shere Alam of Kansas City.
    “It is nice. ... It is gratifying” to win a second term, Cierpiot said Tuesday evening.
    With votes from all 20 precincts counted, Cierpiot had 10,694 votes (60.76 percent) to 6,802 (38.65 percent) for Alam. Alam reported raising no campaign money and ran a limited campaign.
    Today, Cierpiot and fellow Republicans will caucus in Jefferson City, and he is running for the position of assistant floor leader. Also, Rep. Sheila Solon, R-Blue Springs, is running for a caucus leadership position.
    The 30th is basically a rectangle running along Interstate 470, taking in the part of Independence south and east of 35th Street and Lee’s Summit Road, a slice of western Blue Springs, Lakewood, Unity Village and Lee’s Summit as far south as Tudor Road. Terms in the House are for two years.
    Cierpiot’s new district includes about five precincts in Independence that he didn’t represent before, and he said he made a push to campaign harder there.
    District 33
    Republican Donna Pfautsch of Harrisonville made her first run for a state office a successful one, easily beating Democrat Ron Harvey of Lee’s Summit in the district that includes the southern edges of Grain Valley and Oak Grove and part of Lake Lotawana.
    “I am humbled and excited and ready to work for the people of this district. It’s all about service to them,” said Pfautsch, 65.
    Pfautsch totaled 10,179 votes (63.66 percent) to Harvey’s 5,809 (36.33 percent). Pfautsch also easily won in the Jackson County portion of the district with 4,308 votes (64.02 percent) to Harvey’s 2,384 (35.43 percent).
    Pfautsch said she will support education, serving senior citizens, helping small businesses and reducing government in her first term. Pfautsch said she was turning in early after learning of her win at a party for Cass County Republicans.
    “We shared the joy and called it an early night because I have to be in Jefferson City at 10 a.m.,” Pfautsch said with a laugh. “It’s still all about service and the people. … I’m excited to be able to make a difference.”
    Jeff Fox, Adrianne DeWeese, Kelly Evenson and Karl Zinke contributed to this report.
     
     
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