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story.lead_photo.caption Blaine Luetkemeyer

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer won the Republican nomination for Missouri's 3rd Congressional District on Tuesday, defeating challenger Chadwick Bicknell of Arnold.

With all 340 precincts reporting in the 3rd District Tuesday night, Luetkemeyer beat Bicknell with 79.8 percent of the vote, or 95,385 votes. Bicknell, in his first run for political office, got 20.1 percent of the vote, or 24,000 votes.

Across Cole County, Luetkemeyer won with an even wider margin, getting 83.1 percent of the vote, or 11,967 votes, to Bicknell's 16.9 percent, or 2,434 votes.

"With your support, I will continue working with President Trump to secure our borders, grow our economy, and Make America Great Again," Luetkemeyer said in a Facebook statement Tuesday night.

Luetkemeyer, R-St. Elizabeth, campaigned on his support for the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which overhauled the nation's tax code last winter. Corporate tax rates dropped from 35 percent to 21 percent under the new law. Individual tax rates generally fell by 3-4 percent and the seven personal income tax brackets were restructured. The standard deduction also doubled to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for married couples who file jointly.

On his campaign website, Luetkemeyer says he supported the bill because it eliminated the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate. Luetkemeyer also supported repealing the Affordable Care Act, allowing small businesses to purchase insurance together and to sell insurance across state lines.

Bicknell, 27, who works for a food manufacturer, told the News Tribune previously that if elected he wanted to ensure a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Like Luetkemeyer, Bicknell wanted to see a wall built to fix the immigration system.

Bicknell self-funded most of his campaign. He said Tuesday night he was proud of what he and his staff accomplished. Bicknell plans to run for the same seat again in the future and thinks running this year helped voters get to know his name.

"It was a dream of mine to do this," Bicknell told the News Tribune. "My journey does not end just because of the outcome."

Luetkemeyer will face Democrat Katy Geppert, of St. Louis, and Libertarian Donald Stolle, of Arnold, in the Nov. 6 general election.

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