Missouri House Speaker Pro Tem Denny Hoskins (R-Warrensburg) predicts his party will increase its supermajority in the Missouri House after Tuesday’s general election.
Republicans currently control the House 114-45-1, with three vacancies.
“I predict that we will definitely maintain a supermajority in the House and end up between 115 and 120 Republican state Representatives,” Hoskins says.
State Rep. Gina Mitten (D-St. Louis), who serves as House minority caucus chair, predicts Democrats will pick up seats on Tuesday.
“We could pick up anywhere from two to eight seats, which would put us from 47 to say 53, I mean even as many as 55 depending on what the weather’s like, what the turnout’s like and what happens during these last few days,” Mitten says.
Mitten says Democrats are focused on numerous races, including about a dozen close ones. She believes Democrats like State Rep. Deb Lavender (D-Kirkwood) will win.
“When the Republicans have at the top of their ticket somebody absolutely as extreme as Donald Trump, I feel pretty confident that areas like Kirkwood where Deb Lavender is running, those Republicans even are not engaged by Donald Trump, and it’ll be a question or whether or not they get out,” says Mitten.
Hoskins sees it differently.
“Over the last two weeks, we’ve really seen a surge in conservative Republican messaging, and people that are definitely on board with the conservative line of thinking that our Republican state Representatives provide,” Hoskins says.
Perhaps the most closely-watched race on Tuesday will be in the 94th district in south St. Louis County, where state Rep. Cloria Brown (R-St. Louis County) faces former state Rep. Vicki Englund. This is the fifth straight election where Brown and Englund have run against each other. Mitten notes Englund beat Brown in 2008 and 2012, and Brown beat her in 2010 and 2014.
Republicans need 109 House seats for a veto-proof majority.
Beside the Lavender-Mark Milton (R) and the Brown-Englund races, other key Missouri House races include:
** State Rep. Kevin Corlew (R-Kansas City) is being challenged by former Mizzou All-American football player Martin Rucker II (D).
** Mary Hill (R) and Mark Ellebracht (D) are running to replace State Rep. Nick King (R-Liberty), who lost to Hill in the August GOP primary.
** State Rep. Chuck Basye (R-Rocheport) is being challenged by Susan McClintic (D).
** State Rep. Rick Brattin (R-Harrisonville) is being challenged by Ashley Beard-Fosnow (D).
** State Rep. Rob Vescovo (R-Arnold) is being challenged by Robert Butler (D).
** State Rep. Dan Shaul (R-Imperial) is being challenged by Karen Settlemoir-Berg (D).
** Steve Helms (R) faces Randy Alberhasky (D) for the southwest Missouri seat being vacated by State Rep. Lincoln Hough (R-Springfield), who is running for Greene County commissioner.
** State Rep. Andrew McDaniel (R-Deering) is being challenged by Lena Samford (D).