On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jo Mannies and Marshall Griffin go “on location’’ to welcome Missouri state Sen.-elect Lauren Arthur.
A Democrat, Arthur has touched off a minor political earthquake with her June 5 success in handily winning a state Senate seat in suburban Kansas City that had been held by Republicans for 12 years. Both parties are examining her success to figure out how to duplicate it, or cut it short, in November.
Our team caught up with Arthur – soon to be the youngest member of the state Senate at age 30 – while she was in the state Capitol, preparing to move from her crowded digs in the state House that she shared with several Democratic colleagues. Her destination is larger, private quarters in the Senate.
The former teacher is promising to stick with the economic message that helped her win her new job by 20 percentage points. She believes her victory stems, in part, from voter disillusionment with the Republicans controlling most of Missouri’s state government.
Among her observations during the show:
- She praises state Democratic Party Chairman Stephen Webber, who offered advice after losing his own Senate race in 2016, and U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, who provided financial support.
- She shares labor concerns about the General Assembly’s success in passing more laws last session that curb the rights of unions and state employees. “The people in Jefferson City have for the last several years prioritized the pet projects of billionaires and corporations. And it’s been to the detriment of everyone else.”
- She calls for state Democrats to stay true to a progressive message, and to work hard to spread it. Arthur says her campaign workers made 150,000 phone calls and knocked on tens of thousands of doors during her three-month campaign. That effort paid off, she says, by energizing supporters and voters.
Follow Jo on Twitter: @jmannies
Follow Marshall on Twitter: @MarshallGReport
Follow Lauren Arthur on Twitter: @RepLaurenArthur