It might not be “Happy Times Are Here Again” for Missouri House Democrats, but the times are happier than they have been. House Minority Leader Jeff Harris of Columbia, first won election to the House in 2002, not the best start for a Democrat excited to win election. Harris says he found Democrats in a somber mood, because they had lost the majority in the State House of Representatives to the Republicans. Two years later, a further erosion of power marked what Harris considers the lowest point in 82 years for Missouri Democrats. Harris say, then, anxiety and disappointment gripped the Democratic Caucus in the House. The feeling now is 100% different. He says Democrats are enthusiastic and excited now that they finally have reversed a 20-year trend of stagnation and losses in the House Chamber by gaining five seats. Democrats won seven elections in seats held by Republicans. Republicans took two seats from Democrats. That change in feeling represents how bad things have been for Democrats, because they remain very much in the minority in the House. Republicans still hold 92 seats. Democrats hold 71 in the 163-seat chamber. Money might have kept Republican losses at a minimum in Missouri. The House Republican Campaign Committee spent three million dollars in state representative races. Democrats spent one million dollars on state representative races. Harris points out that even with that three-to-one edge in money, Republicans still lost ground.
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