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Meet Dan Stacy, the man who ousted Sheila Solon

BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. – Dan Stacy pulled off one of the more unexpected upsets in Missouri on Tuesday, defeating incumbent Rep. Sheila Solon, R-Blue Springs. Because there’s no general election opponent, Stacy will join the 2017 class of freshmen legislators.

The “constitutional conservative” is a business owner and home educator who didn’t get involved in politics until he was in his 50s.

Dan Stacy

Among Stacy’s priorities when he arrives in Jefferson City will be passing right-to-work. Solon had voted against the legislation, but Stacy supports it and received $25,000 from the Humphreys family for his campaign.

“One of the issues that I’m sure we’re going to get done right away is right-to-work. We need to improve the job potential in the state of Missouri,” he said.

Stacy also wants to change how primaries are contested in Missouri, especially after the results of Tuesday’s gubernatorial primary and March’s presidential preference primary. He wants to propose legislation that would introduce an instant runoff system when candidates don’t receive more than 50 percent of the vote.

“Something that I’ve seen in this election cycle that is driving me absolutely bananas, we are putting forth, in the Republican Party, a number of fairly good candidates and electing the poor one,” he said.

Under his proposal, voters would also pick a second preference when they cast their ballots. He said it would “show a better picture of our electorate’s desires than our current system.”

He plans to study the issue and draw up legislation to address it before he arrives in Jefferson City.

While Stacy’s victory was unexpected, he didn’t exactly come out of nowhere. He started in politics when he was 56 after teaching his children about the constitution as part of their home schooling.

As a lifelong conservative voter, Stacy said he wasn’t thrilled with how candidates acted once they made it into office. So he started looking for more ways to get involved.

It started with a tax question to create a community center that Stacy said would undercut local businesses. He printed fliers and knocked doors to campaign against the question, leaving the handouts everywhere.

Later, neighbors recognized him as the man handing out the fliers and said he had helped clarify the issue for them. That tax question was defeated and Stacy said he likes to think he had some role in its demise.

He was elected to the Jackson County Republican Committee because, “I went to the primaries and I didn’t like any of the people I was voting on.”

But he still felt like his local elected leaders, including Solon, weren’t representing his conservative values. He decided it was time to run himself.

“I’d already been frustrated for the last six years with my current state representative and how she’d voted on many issues,” Stacy said. “I decided, ‘You know what, I need to put my name up and we need to run a campaign.’”

He also emphasized that he wants to focus on being a part-time legislator, but that he’s focused on the task.

“I think our founders had this in mind. Frankly, they had lives that they enjoyed and they wanted to be a part of and all of them had businesses or farms. They didn’t envision it being a career kind of process,” said Stacy, who’s also been a minister. “I feel it’s a calling at this point in my life. I will be obedient to that calling and we’ll see what is next.”