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Richard Orr mounts another challenge to Bill Eigel for Senate


Democrat Richard Orr has decided to run for SD-23, his second challenge against incumbent Sen. Bill Eigel

Orr, who has worked in the outdoor sporting field for nearly four decades, challenged Eigel in 2016. Eigel brought in more than 60 percent of the vote while Orr garnered nearly 37 percent. Still, despite the loss, Orr said he’s confident in taking on Eigel again in 2020 as he’s spoken to district residents about “concerns … they would like to see in the legislature that doesn’t seem to be getting addressed.” 

Orr has a myriad list of issues he’d like to tackle in the state Senate he can rattle off: Medicaid expansion, additional school funding, continued opposition to right-to-work efforts, campaign finance reforms, a gasoline tax to fund transportation and infrastructure needs, and more local control across Missouri.

“The state clearly wants to be in charge of what the cities and counties do instead of letting them run their own areas,” Orr told The Missouri Times. “Even though they say they’re for local control, every time they have a chance, they prove that they’re not.” 

“It’s just a broad range of things I have concerns about, and frankly, my opponent seems like a one-trick pony,” he said. 

Additionally, Orr maintains people in the 23rd district are “concerned about the services they’re not getting,” such as schools and affordable healthcare. He also wants to place an emphasis on Missouri State Parks and the Department of Conservation if elected.

“Parks and the Conservation Department always seem like they’re under attack from the legislature, cutting their funding and changing the way they’re operated in a way it would benefit certain groups of hunters over others,” Orr said. “The biggest thing of all right now is to ensure that the four new state parks created by [former Gov.] Jay Nixon before he left office are kept in the public sphere because there have been moves to sell some or all of those parks just really out of spite. I think that would be a horrible precedent and action to happen.” 

By the April quarterly filing, Eigel had more than $101,000 cash on hand. Orr did not have a financial summary available by the April quarterly filing. The latest campaign finance data will be public in less than a week. 

“The folks of St. Charles know that I’ve done exactly what I said I would four years ago. I have cut taxes, fought to get the government off the backs of families and small businesses, and defended our most important rights to life and bear arms,” Eigel told The Missouri Times. “With St. Charles being one of the fastest growing and most prosperous areas of Missouri, now is not the time to turn away from these successful policies in favor of big government that trends further and further towards socialism.” 

“Nancy Pelosi, Bernie Sanders, and Chuck Schumer will be thrilled with their newest recruit. Mr. Orr would be a reliable ally in their march toward a socialist America,” Joe Laklin, Eigel’s campaign strategist, added. 

Born and raised in the St. Louis area, Orr has never held political office. In fact, his 2016 race against Eigel, a member of the Senate Conservative Caucus, was his first foray into a political campaign of his own. 

However, his family does have a history of political campaigns in the Show-Me State. The first person in his family to run for office, according to Orr, was his great-great uncle, Sample Orr, who nearly won a gubernatorial bid in 1860. His uncle, Sam Orr, also unsuccessfully ran for a U.S. congressional race in the 1960s, he said. 

“Previously, the tradition has been to lose, and I hope to break that,” Orr said.