Newman wins repeat primary election

By Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Beacon

State Rep. Stacey Newman will return to the Missouri House next year after emerging victorious  Monday in a redo election in the 87th state House District.

And this time around, she won by a margin greater than one vote.


The Richmond Heights Democrat defeated state Rep. Susan Carlson by 1,861 to 1,766. Since no Republicans filed for the heavily Democratic state House district, Newman is assured to return to Jefferson City next year.

“I’m just so gratified by the solid support of the voters in the 87th District,” said Newman in a telephone interview. “I had to ask them to not just come vote once but to come vote twice. And that shows you that there’s solid support, which I’m so grateful for.”

The battle for the district that encompasses parts of Clayton, Richmond Heights, Brentwood, Ladue and University City was already unusual. That’s because two incumbents drawn into the same House district decided to stay put, prompting a primary between two Democrats and  two  Jews with similar views.

But the matchup became even stranger after Newman won the primary by one vote. Then the St. Louis County Board of Election Commissioners found irregularities soon after the results were announced. After a lengthy hearing in August, St. Louis County Circuit Judge Michael Jamison ordered a new election.

Those unprecedented circumstances, Newman said, prompted her campaign to kick into overdrive.

“Once the judge ordered the new election, I picked up immediately. I had a huge list of supporters and it was just solid voter contact,” Newman said.

“Because there’s so many things to inform: That there was another election, why there’s another election, why they need to come back out and then, of course, why they needed to hopefully come back out for me. It was a lot hard work — really extensive voting contact,” she said.

The redo gave both candidates a short time to restate their core messages. Newman, for instance, presented herself as a steadfast opponent to the Republican majority, vowing to oppose strenuously efforts to curb abortion rights, implement photo identification requirements and alter teacher tenure.

While Carlson also held those views, she emphasized her role on powerful committees and noted her expertise as an attorney, which could help change legislation for the better.

In an interview, Carlson said she was disappointed with the result. But she said she called her opponent “and congratulated her and wished her all the best.”

Asked about her political future, Carlson, who won a crowded Democratic primary in 2010 to claim her seat, said: “I’m going to rest. I’m going to visit my 94-year-old mother more than I’ve been able to. Then I’ll figure what else. And I’ll go back to my law practice and figure out what else is next.”

As for Newman, she said she’ll spend the next few weeks helping out other candidates. And she’ll spend some of her next term diving into election law, especially since she’s a member of the House Election Committee.

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