Posted: Nov 7, 2012 10:59 AM by Amy Couch
Updated: Nov 7, 2012 1:21 PM
COLUMBIA - One of the closest races in mid-Missouri ended with the victory of a Republican newcomer. Caleb Rowden beat out veteran Democrat Ken Jacob for the 44th District Missouri House of Representatives seat.
"I'm thrilled. It's been a ten-month process of lots of hard work, thousands of doors knocked on, money raised, and everything that comes with a campaign. But to wake up today and have something to show for all the hard work is a great feeling," Rowden said Wednesday.
Rowden received 7,995 votes, beating Jacob's 7,666 votes by a margin of 329. Rowden took 51.1 percent of the popular vote and Jacob took 48.9 percent.
"[My} being a newcomer was one of the things that Jacob used as a strength in his campaign for him, and I used as a strength for me. But, as we were out talking to people one of the overarching themes that we got was people were just fed up with what has been the status quo and I think I was able to use that to my advantage," said Rowden.
The 44th district includes northeastern Boone County, parts of the city of Columbia, and Randolph County.
This was Rowden's first race running for an elected office. Rowden is a former Christian rock musician who decided to start his own small business, Clarius Interactive, which is a media and marketing company. Rowden says he wants to be a voice for entrepreneurship and small business in the Missouri House.
"I believe they're the backbone of any economy. It's a terribly important piece to the puzzle. So I think whatever we can do to make Missouri more attractive to new business since Kansas changed their taxes that makes them more friendly to businesses has to be at the forefront of our minds in order to get people back to work," said Rowden.
Rowden won the Republican primary for the 44th district in August, securing 41 percent of the vote between four candidates.
Ken Jacob did not return KOMU 8's calls for his reaction to the race.