Riddle reverses course, files for Missouri House

Faced with a new Missouri Senate district that no longer exists, Rep. Jeanie Riddle, R-Mokane, filed Tuesday for the newly created 49th House District that includes most of Callaway County.

Riddle earlier had planned to file for the new Missouri Senate 7th District that was created by redistricting. But that redistricting plan was declared invalid by the courts.

It means the only option for Riddle is to file for re-election to the House and wait another two years to run for the newly created 10th District, which stretches from Callaway County east to the eastern border of Missouri along the Mississippi River.

Riddle and several other potential candidates are scrambling to keep their options open for the future.

The filings also affect other potential candidates.

Travis Fitzwater, Callaway County Republican Central Committee secretary, had indicated his intention to run for the Missouri House district that Riddle had earlier planned to abandon in order to run for the Senate.

Fitzwater said Tuesday he does not plan to run against Riddle if she remains as a candidate for the Missouri House.

But to protect himself if the latest Senate redistricting plan is overturned again, and Riddle eventually does decide to run for the Senate, Fitzwater filed paperwork Tuesday in Jefferson City as a candidate for the 49th District that Riddle is currently seeking.

Fitzwater said Tuesday he will withdraw his candidacy if Riddle remains as a candidate for the House.

Riddle said she has a mixed reaction to the new redistricting plan. She doesn’t like the change in plans for the office she will seek next. But she likes the idea of having the potential of more Senate districts in Central Missouri.

“Personally, I would have liked to have run for the new Senate seat. But it is what it is and we will live with it,” Riddle said.

“Two years from now, Central Missouri will have a new senator, and I think that is a positive for this area.”

Riddle is completing her fourth year in the Missouri House.

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