Trish Gunby will represent Democrats in 2nd District, faces long odds against Ann Wagner
Trish Gunby easily defeated Ray Reed in the 2nd Congressional District Democratic primary Tuesday.
Gunby beat Reed 86% to 14%, according to final but unofficial results. Turnout was 28%. She will face Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin, in November.
Gunby likely will have an uphill battle to represent the Republican-leaning district. Both Democratic candidates acknowledged this on the campaign trail but vowed to reach voters who might be looking for new representation.
“We want everybody to know that there's another option,” Gunby said after learning of her victory Tuesday.
Before winning the special election to represent the 99th District in the Missouri House of Representatives in 2019, Gunby worked in marketing for Purina and Citicorp. She also worked with the St. Louis Area Voting Protection Coalition.
Reed, known nationally as a younger candidate in Generation Z, hoped to draw out youthful voters. Reed’s campaign utilized social media, including TikTok, to try to defeat his better-known opponent and harness Gen Z voters.
The 2nd Congressional District is made up of south and west St. Louis suburbs, including Town and Country, Wildwood, Chesterfield and Oakville, as well as other portions of St. Louis County and Jefferson and St. Charles counties.
More than 750,000 people live in the district, according to census data. A majority of residents are white with an average household income of over $120,000.
Both Gunby and Reed agreed on many issues – including opposing any restrictions on abortion access and voting for President Joe Biden’s national Build Back Better Act.
Although Reed’s campaign sought to harness young voters to vote for the Gen Z candidate, Gunby said she also reached out to younger voters. Many people on her team are young, she said.
Her primary victory, she said, is a testament to the power of speaking with voters in person.
“That's how you're going to move hearts and minds,” Gunby said. “That's what's missing in politics today.”
Farrah Anderson is the newsroom intern at St. Louis Public Radio. Follow her on Twitter: @farrahsoa