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- Missouri House votes to allow concealed weapons without permits (04/28/16)8
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- 2016 All-Missourian Boys Basketball (04/29/16)
- Senator introduces bill for I-57 that would connect Sikeston with Little Rock (04/28/16)4
- Law firm requests information about Cape's traffic cameras (04/25/16)3
- Local lawmakers split over failed medical marijuana bill; voters may have a say (04/26/16)19
Fallert announces state Senate run
STE. GENEVIEVE, Mo. -- State Rep. Joe Fallert, D-Ste. Genevieve, announced Thursday he will run for the Missouri Senate's 3rd District.
If the district's boundaries don't change from the most recent submitted map -- pending another redrawing of Missouri Senate districts -- that means a November race between him and the winner of the Republican primary in August, either Rep. Wayne Wallingford of Cape Girardeau or Farmington, Mo., businessman Gary Romine.
Fallert has represented the 104th House District since 2006.
Fallert announced his run for the 3rd District Senate seat as questions remain about its ultimate boundaries that were defined by the state redistricting map. That map was recently struck down, and a committee is working on drawing a new one based on the 2010 census.
"However the boundaries come out, the people of this region need dedicated elected officials who will fight hard to improve the region's economic vitality and stability, and the general well-being of its citizens," Fallert said in a news release. "I know I have the dedication and qualities needed for the job."
The 104th District includes Ste. Genevieve and Jefferson counties. The new 3rd District on the now invalidated map included Cape Girardeau, Perry, St. Francois and Ste. Genevieve counties.
Fallert pointed to his success in securing substantial levels of funding for projects to improve the region's ability to attract new business and industry, including port development and ground transportation projects such as bridge replacements and resurfacing of a long stretch of U.S. 61.
Fallert has long been a supporter of the $1.5 billion Holcim Inc. Ste. Genevieve cement plant, which has an estimated economic impact of nearly $400 million annually for the state.
Fallert had been mulling a run in the 3rd since last December, when he told the Southeast Missourian that he thinks a Democrat can win in the district despite its strong Republican leanings.
But unless the political climate has changed drastically in the last four years, it looks to be an uphill battle for any Democrat. In 2008, it was the GOP who carried many regional races, despite the country's election of Democratic candidate Barack Obama as its first black president.
Those who voted in the counties that will make up the potential new 3rd District all supported Republican senatorial candidates that year as well. Sen. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau, carried every county in the six-county 27th District with 65.2 percent of the vote. Crowell's 27th District, which stands until redistricting takes effect, includes two of the new 3rd District's counties, including Cape Girardeau and Perry -- as well as Madison, Mississippi, Perry and Scott.
Cape Girardeau County backed Crowell with 12,000 more votes than his opponent, Democrat Linda Sanders. In Perry County, Crowell garnered more than 3,000 more votes than Sanders.
Two counties that are in the existing 3rd District will stay there -- St. Francois and Ste. Genevieve. Both of those counties helped Sen. Kevin Engler, R-Farmington, get re-elected over Democrat Dennis Riche. More than 58 percent of St. Francois County voters and nearly 60 percent of Ste. Genevieve voters backed the incumbent Republican.
Still, Democrats are hopeful that voters will consider Fallert as the next 3rd District Senator.
"There's a reason people like Joe Fallert," said Matt Teter, executive director of the Missouri Democratic Party. "Whether it be assisting victims of rising waters on the Mississippi or helping communities like Ste. Genevieve grow during difficult times, year in and year out, he gets the job done."
Ste. Genevieve, MO