Conservative state lawmakers and newcomers notch big wins in GOP primaries

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Conservative lawmakers and even newcomers scored big, and sometimes surprising, wins in Tuesday’s Republican primary election.

Former Trump White House aide and first-time candidate Mazzie Boyd definitively beat out state Rep. Randy Railsback, R-Hamilton, for the GOP nomination in House District 2 in Northwest Missouri.

The 24-year-old Boyd garnered over 61% of the votes to Railsback’s 38% – catching many by surprise, as Railsback was not only the incumbent out of House District 8 before redistricting, but had other state legislators in his corner as well. 

During his first term in office, Railsback came under fire for voting against key school choice legislation, potentially helping seal his fate in an election cycle hyper-focused on parents’ rights. 

Boyd, who grew up on a fifth-generation farm in the area, ran on a platform of sending a new, young voice to Jefferson City as opposed to “establishment Republicans.” Her priorities include reducing taxes, bolstering small businesses and protecting citizens’ Second Amendment rights.

“The voters spoke loud and clear – they chose to send a fresh perspective to Jefferson City,” Boyd told The Heartlander Wednesday. “This was a grassroots campaign, and I’m very humbled to be chosen as the Republican nominee for District 2.”

Perhaps the largest upset of the night came in Senate District 32, where veteran lawmaker and incumbent state Sen. Bill White lost to outspoken education advocate and mom Jill Carter.

Carter, a political newcomer, won by a slim four-point margin, receiving 52.2% of votes cast. White, a former four-term state representative, was running for his second and final term in the Senate.

The district comprises Jasper and Newton Counties, one of which turned out to be the deciding factor: Jasper County was split by just 181 votes, with Carter having the upper hand – an astoundingly close count in an election where more than 25,000 total ballots were cast. But in the end, Newton County pulled heavily for the political outsider and delivered Carter a total win margin of 1,159 votes over White.

Carter first became involved in politics as a grassroots leader in the fight against Common Core when she started to notice “radical changes” in her kids’ education, a spokesperson for her campaign said. After engaging with local school board members and teachers, Carter took to the state level to advocate for HB 1490, one of the first “Kill Common Core” bills in the country to be signed into law. 

Carter’s priorities include ridding public schools of Critical Race Theory, protecting women’s sports and repealing the recently passed Missouri gas tax. She also is passionate about supporting local law enforcement agencies, lowering taxes and reducing the overall size of government. 

“These are issues that southwest Missourians care about, but our representation up to this point hasn’t taken it seriously,” her campaign said. 

The political newcomer will become Senate District 32’s next state senator, as no Democrat filed to run in the general election in November.

Another highly anticipated race saw conservative state Rep. Nick Schroer secure the Republican nomination for Missouri’s 2nd Senate District in the St. Charles area. Vying to replace term-limited state Sen. Bob Onder, Schroer comfortably beat out House Speaker Pro Tem John Wiemann, earning 57.5% of the vote compared to Wiemann’s 42.4%. 

Since being elected to the House in 2016, Schroer has built a reputation of a principled conservative who intensely fought against Critical Race Theory and any mask or vaccine mandates.

Schroer also landed an impressive list of conservative endorsements that likely helped him across the finish line. The state representative received stamps of approval from outgoing 2nd District Sen. Onder, Missouri Right to Life, the NRA and the Missouri Fraternal Order of Police. 

Schroer is passionately pro-life, and was a main component of the 2019 passage of Missouri’s Heartbeat Bill – alongside Rep. Mary Elizabeth Coleman, R-Arnold – that triggered a near-total ban on abortion when Roe v. Wade was overturned. In the upcoming session, ridding Missourians of personal property taxes is at the top of Schroer’s priority list.

Coleman had a most impressive win of her own Tuesday, comfortably taking the Republican nomination for Missouri’s 22nd State Senate District with 34.8% of the vote –  and doing so against three notable opponents familiar with Missouri’s political landscape.

She easily bested state Rep. Dan Shaul (23.3%), who acted as head liaison for Missouri’s redistricting process this year; state Rep. Shane Roden (17.7%); and former state Rep. Jeff Roorda (24%), who has unsuccessfully run for Senate District 22 in the past as a Democrat, and served multiple terms in the lower chamber as a Democrat. 

Coleman has been one of the fiercest fighters for pro-life policy at the Capitol since first being elected in 2018. She was one of the main architects of the Heartbeat Bill.

After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the landmark decision in June, abortion became a top topic across political circles. Thus, Coleman’s staunchly pro-life record likely became the focal point for her supporters – and her opponents.

All vote totals are according to unofficial results published by the Secretary of State’s office. 

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