Rowden Victory Interview

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COLUMBIA — Republican Caleb Rowden defeated Democrat Stephen Webber to become the newest Missouri State Senator from District 19 Tuesday night.

Rowden will replace current State Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia. Earlier this year, Schaefer ran for the Republican nomination for attorney general of Missouri, but ultimately lost to Josh Hawley.

Rowden has been Missouri’s 44th District state representative since first being elected on Nov. 6, 2012. While a representative, Rowden served on the House Budget, Higher Education and Economic Development committees.

Webber has represented Missouri’s 46th District as a member of the Missouri House of Representatives. He ran unopposed in his first general election in 2008. At the time of his 2008 victory, he was the youngest representative in the state of Missouri.

Over the course of the election, the two candidates spent about $3 million, most of it on campaign advertisements. Both candidates had put out a series of heated ads attacking their opponents throughout the campaign.

Rowden said there are a few primary areas he aims to focus on during his four-year term. They include boosting businesses, ethics reform and higher education.

"Whoever are the senators, whoever are the representatives, to come together and say 'Hey look, we're going to put together a narrative that says Mizzou's stabilized, we're going to have a new president, some new curators, after the new governor's in place.' And we're going to have to tell their story really well and as often as possible," Rowden said.

Rowden gave his official acceptance speech at the Columbia Holiday Inn on I-70. His wife joined him on stage.

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