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Gov. Blunt calls for April Special Election to fill Vacant Senate seat

November 29, 2005
By: Jade Mingus
State Capital Bureau

St. Charles County will be a senate seat short in the upcoming legislative session thanks to Governor Matt Blunt.

Jade Mingus has more from Jefferson City.

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Governor Matt Blunt did not add the open senate seat left by Jon Dolan to the special election on February 7th.

Instead, Blunt is adding it to the April ballot.

Missouri Democratic Party spokesperson Jack Cardetti says it's unfair to the 160,000 people in St. Charles and Lincoln Counties because they won't have representation during the majority of the legislative session.

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"He thought for some reason that holding it later would give them a better political advantage. I don't know what that political calculation would be. It's clearly not in the interest of good government."

Republican Senator Chuck Gross of St. Charles County says pushing back the election was a smart move.

Gross says it takes time to organize candidates and educate voters.

From the state Capitol, I'm Jade Mingus.

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160,000 people in St. Charles and Lincoln counties won't be represented in the state Senate because of Governor Blunt's decision to push back an election.

Jade Mingus has more from the state capitol.

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Jon Dolan left an empty senate seat behind when he accepted a job with the nursing home industry.

Missouri Democratic Party spokesperson Jack Cardetti called on Blunt to add the open seat to special elections already scheduled for February 7th.

But Blunt's spokesperson Spence Jackson says the open seat will instead be on the April ballot in St. Charles and Lincoln Counties.

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"We think this strikes the right balance, will give voters more time, will give the candidates more time, and certainly who ever is ultimately selected will be able to give work and start serving their constituents very soon after that April election."

Cardetti says it's unfair to voters in Dolan's 2nd Senatorial Distric because they won't have representation for the majority of the upcoming legislative session.

From the state capitol, I'm Jade Mingus.

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A vacant seat in Missouri's senate will remain empty until April.

Jade Mingus has more from the state Captiol.

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Governor Matt Blunt has called for a special election in April for the empty senate seat left behind by Republican Jon Dolan.

Dolan accepted a job in the nursing home industry, his resignation took effect on November 11th.

Missouri's Democratic Party spokesperson Jack Cardetti says he wanted Blunt to fill Dolan's open seat earlier, namely in the February special elections already scheduled.

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"There's no reason those 160,000 people shouldn't have representation for the majority of the session."

Cardetti says voters in St. Charles and Lincoln Counties shouldn't have to wait until after April for represenation.

But Blunt's spokesperson Spence Jackson says the extra time was needed to organize the election and inform voters.

From the state capitol, I'm Jade Mingus.