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Wagner holds onto 2nd congressional seat

U.S. Congresswoman Ann Wagner is staying in Washington, D.C. 

After an election season derailed by COVID-19, Wagner edged out Democratic state Sen. Jill Schupp to remain the representative of Missouri’s 2nd congressional district. With all precincts reporting early Wednesday, Wagner garnered nearly 52 percent of the vote compared to Schupp’s 45 percent. 

With about nearly all precincts reporting early Wednesday morning, Wagner had garnered about 51 percent of the vote compared to Schupp’s 47 percent, according to the Secretary of State’s Office. 

“I am grateful to have once again earned the support of Missouri’s 2nd District,” Wagner said in a statement to The Missouri Times. “A 7 point victory is a clear mandate, and I look forward to continuing to work for my constituents in Congress as we work on important issues like addressing the coronavirus pandemic, helping our economy continue to recover, and ensuring affordable and accessible healthcare, especially coverage of those with preexisting conditions.”

Schupp said while it was not the outcome she had worked toward, “voters made their choice.” 

“These are painful, divided times for our state and our nation. The partisan bickering and name calling must come to an end,” Schupp said. “It is incumbent upon our leaders to reach across the aisle and work for the people who have elected to represent them.” 

“This race might be over, but what our campaign stood for will endure. Being your nominee has been the greatest honor of my life and my commitment to protecting people with pre-existing conditions, making our communities safer from gun violence, and creating an economy that works for all of us remains steadfast,” she said. 

Wagner has represented the district since 2013. She’s a former chair of the Missouri GOP and ambassador to Luxembourg for four years. She’s the vice ranking member on the House Financial Services and House Foreign Affairs committees.

Wagner has prioritized aiding victims of sexual assault. She led the fight to reauthorize the Debbie Smith Act, a federal program that provides resources and grants to state and local agencies to tackle rape kits. 

She beat Democratic challenger Cort VanOstran by about 51 percent of the vote in 2018 and prevailed over Bill Otto by an even greater margin in 2016. Then, Trump carried the 2nd congressional district by about 10 points. 

But the district, encompassing the St. Louis suburbs, is tracking more blue. 

A Democrat, Schupp served in the state Senate since 2014 representing SD 24 in St. Louis County. She served in the House for five years and on the Ladue School Board before that. She’s a former elementary school teacher in both California and Missouri. 

Schupp championed legislation to aid sexual assault suriviors during her final year in the Senate. Her bill, expanding access to rape kits in hospitals through a telehealth system, was signed into law earlier this year. 

She’s also pushed for legislation helping women who suffer from postpartum depression and suicide prevention. She’s worked on stronger gun control efforts, fought for abortion rights, and supportered veterans’ causes. She’s the founder of the nonprofit Missouri Veterans History Project. 

Schupp earned support and attention from national Democrats in her campaign and was tapped as part of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s (DCCC) “Red to Blue” program. Schupp was backed by former President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as well. 

During the campaign, both candidates traded jabs over a debate schedule — ultimately unable to come to a compromise. Wagner raised about $4.8 million and spent nearly $4.6 million. Schupp raked in about $4.1 million and spent nearly $3.7 million. But about $17 million overall was projected to be spent in the district.