Special elections to fill two Senate vacancies see a Democrat elected to replace a Republican and a Republican elected to replace a Democrat. The Republican victory came in northern Jefferson County where former State Representative Bill Alter of High Ridge defeated Democratic State Representative Rick Johnson of High Ridge by 66 votes in a four-man race that saw Alter win with just over 30-percent of the vote. He wasn’t expecting this close a contest. Johnson won just under 30-percent of the votes cast. Because the margin of victory is less than one percent, rules call for an automatic recount. But, a scanner – not hand counting – is used in Jefferson County, so the outcome is not expected to change. The Democratic victory came in an eight county district in mid-Missouri where State Representative Frank Barnitz of Lake Spring defeated Rolla Municipal Judge Bill Hickle by about 1,500 votes. The Jefferson County election was called to choose a successor to Steve Stoll, who left the Senate to become City Administrator of Festus. Sarah Steelman’s election as State Treasurer created the vacancy in mid-Missouri. In a special election to fill a House vacancy in Kansas City, Republican Ryan Silvey pulled an upset with a tight 213 vote margin of victory over Democrat Teresa Loar. The seat has been vacant since the death of Democratic Representative Dan Bishop.