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Elaine Gannon jumps into SD 3 race on last day of filing


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — State Rep. Elaine Gannon jumped into the state Senate race for the vacant SD 3 Tuesday morning, the final day of candidate filing. 

The move propels her into a three-way GOP primary for former state Sen. Gary Romine’s seat with Joshua Barrett and Kent Scism

“I’ve been giving this decision a lot of thought for the last couple of months, and it really doesn’t matter if you file the first day or the last day,” Gannon told The Missouri Times. “I’ve had a lot of encouragement from fellow legislators and constituents and family members encouraging me to run.”

State Rep. Elaine Gannon jumped into the SD 3 race on the last day of filing. (PROVIDED)

“I came to the conclusion that it would be an honor to follow in Sen. Gary Romine’s steps if I win this election and serve the constituents of District 3.” 

A retired school teacher and vice-chairman of the House Higher Education Committee, Gannon pointed to public schools as the primary issue of her platform and praised Romine — who left his seat after he was appointed chairman of the State Tax Commission earlier this year — for his work on education issues. She said she’s the candidate who will “continue the fight for public school education that Sen. Romine fought for.” 

Gannon also contended the last eight years serving in the state House has given her a leg up in the race as she’s learned “the process and how to work with my constituents and listen to my constituents.”

“That’s a big one right there: listening to people in my district,” Gannon said. 

Scism, a Farmington businessman, announced his candidacy in November. He reported having more than $123,000 cash on hand in his January quarterly report. The Keep America Great PAC, which supports Scism, reported $5,200 in the bank. 

Gannon has about $6,000 cash on hand. 

Barrett, a Marine Corps veteran, does not have any campaign finance reports available with the MEC. 

Gannon brought her sister and legislative aide, Heather McKnelly, with her to file Tuesday. She said the process was still “exciting” even though they had to practice social distancing and take extra precautions due to the coronavirus pandemic.