A veteran state lawmaker who’s been advocating for prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) legislation for eight years has narrowly won a GOP Senate primary in southeast Missouri, by 141 votes.
State Rep. Holly Rehder, R-Scott City, defeated State Rep. Kathy Swan, R-Cape Girardeau, in a race that went down to the wire Tuesday night. Rehder had 16,834 votes, compared to Swan’s 16,693 votes.
“Certainly this was a nailbiter and Representative Swan was definitely a tough opponent, and I’m just very thankful for the outcome,” Rehder says.
The race was heated, with Rehder and Swan criticizing each other. They also accused each other of missing hundreds of Missouri House votes.
One of Rehder’s top priorities is addressing Missouri’s opioid epidemic and passing PDMP legislation. Missouri is the only state in the nation without a PDMP, which is an electronic database that collects data on controlled substance prescriptions within a state.
Rehder will face Marquand Democrat Donnie Owens this fall. She tells Missourinet that she’s focusing on November.
“And work just as hard as I have before on trying to find solutions for the opioid epidemic, and then pushing back on bloated government. I think that’s very important for us,” says Rehder.
The traditionally Republican 27th senatorial district has six counties: Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Madison, Perry, Scott and Wayne. Cities and towns in the district include Cape Girardeau, Chaffee, Fredericktown, Jackson, Marble Hill and Perryville.
Cape Girardeau County, which has about 79,000 residents, is the largest county in the district.
The winner of the Rehder-Owens November race will replace term-limited State Sen. Wayne Wallingford, R-Cape Girardeau. He leaves the Senate in December.
Click here to listen to Brian Hauswirth’s interview with State Rep. Holly Rehder, R-Scott City, which was recorded on August 4, 2020:
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