Spurned by a local Democratic Party committee, Tracy McCreery ran as an independent and emerged the victor Tuesday night in a three-way race for a vacant St. Louis County seat in the Missouri House of Representatives.
Complete but unofficial results show McCreery carried about 44 percent of the vote to defeat Democrat Jeff O'Connell and Republican Patrick Brennan, who had 29 percent and 27 percent respectively.
McCreery previously worked for eight years as an aide to former Democratic state Sen. Joan Bray and, before that, served in the administration of former Democratic Gov. Bob Holden. But McCreery, of Olivette, filed as an independent when a Democratic committee instead selected O'Connell, a Laborers Union business agent from Overland, as its nominee for the vacant 83rd District seat.
Once the results are officially certified by the secretary of state's office, McCreery would succeed former state Rep. Jake Zimmerman, a Democrat who also once worked in Holden's office and who resigned from the Legislature after winning a special election in April as St. Louis County assessor.
Another former Holden staffer appeared to narrowly lose a special election for a St. Charles County state House seat, according to complete but unofficial results. Republican businesswoman Chrissy Sommer edged Democratic attorney Paul Woody by a vote of 1,874 to 1,836, though the close margin may make it possible for Woody to ask for a recount under Missouri election laws. If the results stand in the 15th District, Sommer would succeed former Republican state Rep. Sally Faith, who resigned after winning election in April as mayor of St. Charles.
Two Democrats easily prevailed in a pair of special elections for vacant Kansas City state House seats. In the 39th District, retired teacher and school counselor Judy Morgan defeated Republican real estate attorney Jamie Barker Landes in a race to replace Democratic Rep. Jean Peters-Baker, who was appointed in May as Jackson County prosecutor. In the 41st District, Brandon Ellington was unopposed in his bid to succeed Democratic Rep. Kiki Curls of Kansas City, who won a special state Senate election in February.
The outcome of Tuesday's special elections won't tip the balance of power in the House. That's because Republicans held a commanding 105-54 majority over Democrats heading into the special elections for the four vacancies. Republicans also hold a sizable majority in the state Senate.