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Missouri House special elections 2019: What to know about the races

On Nov. 5, six special state House elections will be held across the state. 

Three of the races are in the St. Louis area and two are in Kansas City. One is in the southern part of Missouri. 

It’s up to the governor to issue a Writ of Election to call for the special elections. Candidates in four races had to declare with the Secretary of State’s Office by Aug. 22 to appear on the November ballots; candidates for HD 99 and HD 158 had to declare by May 13. 

Most of the special House races aren’t very competitive — in fact, one race only has a single candidate on the ballot. 

Read on for a look at what seats are open and what to know about the candidates. 

HD 99 

From left to right: Democrat Trish Gunby and Republican Lee Ann Pitman

Arguably the most competitive of the special elections, the HD 99 race features Democrat Trish Gunby and Republican Lee Ann Pitman

The district, which encompasses part of St. Louis County, was previously held by Republican Jean Evans. It became vacant when she left to take over as the executive director of the Missouri GOP. 

Gunby is a former Citicorp Mortgage and Purina employee with a background in project management and marketing. She has also been active in the community through local projects and volunteer work. 

She studied political science as well as advertising and public relations at the University of Tulsa. 

Pitman worked for Protective Life Corporation as a senior accountant for nearly two decades. She has a degree in business administration from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. 

As of the October quarterly filing, Gunby had significantly more cash on hand: $62,214 compared to Pitman’s $7,066. Notably, police associations have backed Pitman in the race whereas firefighters — as well as a number of left-leaning groups — have chosen Gunby. 

While a competitive race this cycle, HD 99 has gone to a Republican for the past several elections. Before Evans, now-Sen. Andrew Koenig held the seat.

HD 158

Encompassing Barry County in the southern part of the state, voters in HD 158 will get to choose between Republican Scott Cupps and Democrat Lisa Kalp

Cupps is a farmer, working on his family farm, who previously taught agriculture and served as an FFA advisor. He attended Missouri State University. 

From Boston, Kalp moved to Missouri in 2005. She owns a computer programing business and — like Cupps — is a farmer. Along with the goats and horses on her farm, Kalp raises two adopted children with special needs. 

As of the latest filing, Cupps has $2,603 cash on hand. Kalp has $1,784. 

The seat was previously held by Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick, a Republican who left the General Assembly when he was appointed state treasurer

HD 22

The race to replace Democrat Brandon Ellington — who was elected to the Kansas City Council in June — is between Republican Tammy Herrera and Democrat Yolanda Young. 

Born in Texas, Young often touts her grassroots and community activism in the Kansas City area — particularly in making her Ivanhoe neighborhood safer. Young and her husband are small business owners, operating the Young Family Farm. 


On a Facebook page filled with door knocking photos, Herrera said her “greatest accomplishment” is her family, including her five children. She also noted how important her faith is to her. 

Green Party candidate Jeff Francis is also on the ballot for the special election. 

The latest filing reports showed Young has $1,116 cash on hand. Herrera, meanwhile, reported only $392. 

HD 74

The race to replace Democrat Cora Faith Walker in the St. Louis area seat is between Democrat Mike Person and libertarian Nick Kasoff. 

Walker resigned from the General Assembly in July, taking a position as the director of policy for St. Louis County. 

Person is a former Riverview Gardens School Board member who works on diversity and inclusion issues for Ameren. He’s reportedly been involved in campaign work for three decades. 

Kasoff has launched other campaigns in the St. Louis area before, including for St. Louis county executive, the General Assembly, and city council. 

Person has reported $665 cash on hand as of the latest reports; Kasoff did not have any financial information available in the Missouri Ethics Commission’s database. 

HD 36

DaRon McGee, the No. 2 Democrat in the House at the time, resigned his position in April amid an ethics investigation. He said he had taken different employment in Kansas City, setting up HD 36 for a special election. 

Democrat Mark Sharp is on the ballot for the seat as well as Bob Voorhees, a Green Party candidate. 

Sharp is a teacher at KIPP Endeavor Academy and plans to focus on public education issues in the General Assembly. 

Sharp had $2,188 cash on hand as of the latest filing reports. 

HD 78

The special election for HD 78 only has one candidate on the ballot: Democrat Rasheen Aldridge. 

Rep. Bruce Franks, also a Democrat, held the seat until his resignation at the end of July. 

A committeeman in St. Louis, Aldridge has served on the Ferguson Commission and worked with the Missouri Democratic Party. He attended St. Louis Community College where he was the director of Young Activists United. 

Aldridge reported having $3,297 cash on hand in the latest filings.