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Upset Election Lead Democrats to Claim Future Success

November 09, 2005
By: Katie Peterson
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - Recent state elections lead Missouri democrats to claim more victories to come after an upset election Tuesday, said a Missouri Democratic Party spokesman.

Jane Bogetto defeated Rep. Moira Byrd, R-Kirkwood with 57 percent of the vote. According to Missouri Democratic Party spokesman Jack Cardetti, the last democrat to hold the seat was George Weber elected in 1964 for one term.

"If republicans continue to run the state government the way they have over the past ten months, we are going to see many more victories like this," Cardetti said.

Jane Bogetto said one of the main reasons for her victory came from voters disapproval of Blunt's administration. "When I was knocking on doors, people were concerned about the new school funding plan and the 100,000 Medicaid cuts - which really resounded with the people. Not only were the cuts morally wrong, but fiscally irresponsibly," Bogetto said.

But Missouri Republican Party spokesman John Hancock said the election does not send any message about more democratic success. Hancock said Tuesday's victories of Republicans Jason Smith of Salem for the house and Jack Goodman of Mt. Vernon for the senate, outnumber the one democratic victory in Kirkwood. "I think the democrats are dead wrong in how they are trying to make some type of state wide message out of it when they lost two of the three races," Hancock said.

However, not all the republican candidates opinions coincided with the governors. Smith does not support the amount of Blunt's Medicaid cuts, so much so he signed a statement opposing anymore health care cuts during his campaign. "I believe the current Medicaid cuts went too far. We need to make sure Medicaid is helping those that need it the most," Smith said.

Top spokesman for Gov. Blunt, Spence Jackson said Smith's opposing view on Medicaid was not significant to his win. "One of main reasons he did win was because he adhered to the vast majority of what the governor supports - limiting the size of government, limiting its growth and prioritizing public education," Jackson said.

Jackson said the governor stands behind his social welfare reforms. "We feel very comfortable in the actions we have taken in this office. We still have the most generous social welfare programs in the country. Our program covers nearly 1 million out of 5 million Missouri residents. I think that is generous by any unbiased observer's standard," Jackson said.