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Jeff Smith has Few Regrets About Close Election

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Campaign photo of Jeff Smith

By Tom Weber, KWMU

St. Louis – One surprise in Tuesday's Missouri Primary election was how close Democrat Jeff Smith came to being the nominee for Dick Gephardt's seat in Congress.

It was Smith's first-ever run for office, and he says he was dismissed as a joke at the start.

But he came within about 1,800 votes of beating Russ Carnahan, the son of the late governor Mel and former Senator Jean Carnahan.

Smith says it's too soon to know if he'll run again in the future.

But he dismisses the idea that his first campaign should have been for a lower office.

"I never felt I was outmatched or should have run for another office," Smith said. "You have to run for the office that deals with the issues you're most passionate about, and I'm most passionate about federal issues. I didn't want to run for a lower office just to use it for a stepping stone."

Smith said his campaign did things other did not, like hosting 'coffees' in supporters' living rooms.

He also amassed a large network of volunteers, and had the support of former Presidential candidate Howard Dean.

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