Republicans have lost the first election in Missouri since Eric Greitens resigned the governor’s post in disgrace, with Democrat Lauren Arthur picking up a state senate seat in the Kansas City suburbs.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Arthur had defeated Republican Kevin Corlew — a fellow state legislator — by 19 points. That represented a sizable swing toward Democrats in the 17th district, which backed both Donald Trump and Mitt Romney by 4 points.
“Tonight’s result is the latest example of the unprecedented energy we’re seeing across the country, and further proof that when we organize, we can win everywhere,” said Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez in a statement.
Arthur’s victory is the 42nd red-to-blue flip in state legislative races since the inauguration of President Trump. While Republicans have flipped several seats in more conservative areas, Democrats have seen a surge in suburban districts. Last month, they gained a historically Republican district in Pennsylvania’s Bucks County while Republicans flipped a Democratic seat in a rural district south of Pittsburgh.
Republicans entered the day spinning a possible loss; in an interview with the Kansas City Star, one Republican official noted that Jason Kander, the unsuccessful Democratic candidate in 2016’s U.S. Senate race, had won the 17th district by 11 points.
There are just a handful of special state legislative elections left before November, with Democrats invested most heavily in two Wisconsin districts that vote next Tuesday.