House candidates that could be back in 2018

capitol tree

Anyone can have a rough night when after months of hard work, the votes roll in and the result goes the other way. However, defeat does not necessarily mean the end of a political career. These candidates, most of them new to politics, showed promise in races, even if they lost by a wide margin. We expect them to continue making names for themselves.

Ashley Beard-Fosnow

Ashley Beard-Fosnow

Ashley Beard-Fosnow

  • Total Funds Raised This Cycle: $77,023.18
  • Votes Earned (percentage): 7,111 (36.66 percent)

Even though Beard-Fosnow will not be joining her brother Rep. Nathan Beard in the General Assembly, she could have future success if she decides to run for public office again. Rep. Rick Brattin, R-Harrisonville, now heads into his final two-year term as one of the most socially conservative state representatives in the Legislature from a conservative district. Beard-Fosnow could not convert her outsider message into enough votes in this election, but as a more moderate Democrat than those found in St. Louis, Kansas City or Columbia, she has a chance at turning the 55th District blue in two years if she decides to run again.

Kyle Garner

  • Total Funds Raised This Cycle: $18,616.45

    Kyle Garner

    Kyle Garner

  • Votes Earned (percentage): 4,034 (29.54 percent)

Speaking of Beard, the freshman legislator defended his seat convincingly against Garner in Sedalia in the 52nd District. The 40-point loss in a strongly Republican district might dissuade Garner from running again, but he has built strong party connections and exudes a great deal of passion for liberal causes. He could be a person to watch in the next few years, even if he does not make the scene as a state representative. Look for him to be involved in Democratic politics.

Mary Hill

  • Total Funds Raised This Cycle: $103,627.43

    Hill

    Mary Hill

  • Votes Earned (percentage): 8,127 (45.82 percent)

Hill fought in arguably two of the closest elections of the cycle. Her primary election victory over outgoing Rep. Nick Hill felt like a punch in the jaw to union supporters who had to act quickly to bolster a run by Mark Ellebracht, who has been running for a seat in the General Assembly since 2010. Ellebracht emerged the victor, but Hill made a name for herself with a strong conservative message that obviously resonated enough to get her a win in the primary over an incumbent. She also made a strong ally in David Humphreys, though with right-to-work and campaign contribution limits likely realities, it remains to be seen whether or not his checkbook will be as open as it was this election cycle.

Mark Milton

Mark Milton with his family

Mark Milton with his family

  • Total Funds Raised This Cycle: $159,262.25
  • Votes Earned (percentage): 10,136 (44.38 percent)

Rep. Deb Lavender finally got the incumbent advantage she lacked for several election cycles against former Rep. Rick Stream, and she won by 11 points in an election that was unkind to Democrats. However, there’s no doubt Milton has a bright future in the Missouri Republican Party, especially since he has a profile that puts him in the mold of other West St. Louis County conservatives like State Treasurer-elect Eric Schmitt and Sen.-elect Andrew Koenig. Lavender holding onto the 90th District was a big win for Democrats, but Milton’s burgeoning political career is far from over.

Greg Mueller

  • Total Funds Raised This Cycle: $77,751.64

    Mueller /from Mueller

    Greg Mueller

  • Votes Earned (percentage): 9,337 (43.56 percent)

Mueller had a huge uphill battle in outgoing Rep. Jeanne Kirkton’s district against Rep.-elect Sarah Unsicker. Many Republicans said the Webster Groves City Council member and attorney was one of the most impressive recruits of the entire cycle. The 91st House District, which holds Shrewsbury, Webster Groves and Crestwood, is reliably Democratic, but you will certainly hear the name Greg Mueller again.

Martin Rucker II

rucker

Martin Rucker II

  • Total Funds Raised This Cycle: $183,331.12
  • Votes earned (percentage): 8,216 (47.29 percent)

In one of the closest high-profile races in the state, Rep. Kevin Corlew managed to stave off Rucker, a charismatic candidate and ex-Mizzou football star who is the son of a former state representative. Rucker stood out at campaign events, even alongside some of the Missouri Democratic Party’s brightest stars. Although Rucker did not make it into the General Assembly, he fought a strong public servant in Corlew. Rumor has it he may be a top draw to run for the 34th district state Senate seat, as his father was in 2010.

Karen Settlemoir-Berg 

  • Total Funds Raised This Cycle: $148,612.95

    Karen Settlemoir-Berg

    Karen Settlemoir-Berg

  • Votes Earned (percentage): 6,990 (42.14 percent)

Almost anyone with a D next to their name on the ballot box suffered in Missouri last week, but the “Trump Bump” arguably hurt no one more than Settlemoir-Berg. While she ran on her union record in a union area, Donald Trump’s anti-free trade message resonated in a huge (read: yuge) way with blue-collar communities like Jefferson County. Rep. Dan Shaul held onto his seat, but Settlemoir-Berg may still have a future in Missouri politics, especially if Trump does not deliver on his promises.

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