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Beck keeps SD 1 under Democrats’ control

  

Rep. Doug Beck overtook political newcomer Dr. David Lenihan to fill the SD 1 seat. 

As of Tuesday evening, Beck secured about 55 percent of the vote over Lenihan’s 44.6 percent. 

“Thank you to the people of the first Senate district for putting their faith in me. Thank you to the many volunteers and campaign staff who worked untold hours to bring us over the finish line,” Beck told The Missouri Times. “I’m truly humbled by this honor and the trust you have placed in me.” 

Beck and his opponent differed on violent crime, with Beck advocating greater gun control measures while Lenihan advocated for a stronger police force and the main pillars of the summer’s special session on violent crime. Both candidates voiced concern for the mental health aspect of crime, saying it was one of the root causes of the issue. 

Beck and Lenihan faced off to replace outgoing Democratic Sen. Scott Sifton, who was term-limited. Sifton has represented the St. Louis region since 2013. 

The district has trended toward Democratic candidates in the past, with Sifton winning his first election by a mere 1,600 votes and commanding a wider 5,000 vote lead in 2016. The district is part of the St. Louis area, which typically skews Democrat; Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton won St. Louis county in 2016 by nearly 80 percent of the vote, while President Donald Trump only took less than 16 percent. 

The race was seen as one of the top three Senate contests going into Election Day. 

Beck was first elected to the Missouri House in 2017. During his tenure in the lower chamber, he served as the ranking minority member on the Economic Development and Workforce Development Committees. Beck worked as a pipefitter for more than 30 years and served as Director of the Affton School Board prior to his time in the legislature. 

His focus throughout the campaign has been on safety, public education, and school districts. On a recent episode of “This Week in Missouri Politics,” Beck said the COVID-19 pandemic was one of the major concerns in the district. He said he would like to pursue a property tax credit for struggling Missourians, especially seniors. He also said he would focus on “reasonable” gun restrictions but noted he and his opponent shared similar beliefs on many issues in the community. 

Beck ran unopposed on the Democratic ticket in the August primary. 

He reported $86,000 on hand in the latest MEC filings

Lenihan is the former dean of Touro’s Medical School in New York City and founder of the Tiber Health network of medical universities. His campaign’s main focuses were health care, education, and violent crime, with his campaign announcement drawing a correlation between mental health and criminal acts. 

He overcame fellow newcomer Mitchell Kohlberg in August, securing more than 66 percent of the Republican vote. 

He reported more than $37,000 in his war chest.