A Missouri State Senate seat has turned from red to blue.
Democratic State Rep. Lauren Arthur has pulled off a double-digit victory for the 17th Senatorial seat in a Kansas City area swing district. She defeated Republican State Rep. Kevin Corlew in a special election last night by a 60% to 40% margin.
The last time a Democrat from Clay County held the office was in 2004 by the late Ed Quick.
Arthur’s win brings the Senate’s party makeup to 24 Republicans and 10 Democrats.
Arthur and Corlew, both considered moderates, ran for the seat vacated by Republican Ryan Silvey. Former Governor Eric Greitens appointed Silvey to the Public Service Commission.
Arthur’s victory comes a few days after Greitens, a Republican, resigned from office against a backdrop of numerous ethical and legal of accusations.
The effect on the election of the scandals surrounding Greitens is unknown. Missouri Democrats did run an ad in recent days linking Corlew to Greitens and Arthur had stated that cleaning up corruption in Jefferson City was a major priority for her.
Both Arthur and Corlew had called for Greitens to leave office long before he resigned last week.
Arthur prioritized good schools as well as the protection of working families in her campaign. She has a background as a teacher and is currently a Regional Director for Urban Leaders Fellowship.
The 17th District has a strong labor presence as it’s home to the Claycomo Ford assembly plant which employs roughly 7,500 union workers.
Both Arthur and Corlew have voting records supporting labor interests, as did Silvey when he was in office, but Arthur received the endorsement of the prominent unions in the district. She also opposed measures supported by Corlew to block local minimum wage increases and curtail liability lawsuits against businesses.
Arthur and Corlew had opposing views on taxes and abortion.
Corlew, an attorney who chaired a high-profile transportation task force the state legislature put together last year, conceded the Senate race at roughly 9 p.m. last night.
Alisa Nelson and Jason Taylor wrote this story