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When national politics overwhelmed a Missouri district

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Once a Democratic stronghold, a swing congressional district in northern Missouri became dominated by Republicans, thanks to a national realignment and the influence of conservative media. Plus: Why a Democratic candidate thinks she has a shot to flip a Kansas House district in Johnson County.

Sixteen years ago, Democrat Wes Shoemyer defeated a flood of Republican money and high-profile Republican political figures to win Missouri’s 18th Senatorial District contest, one of the most competitive in Missouri. After his 2010 loss for re-election, the counties that make up the 18th District aggressively trended toward the Republican Party.

As Jason Rosenbaum of St. Louis Public Radio reports, the collapse of the Missouri Democrats across the northern third of the state is more than a story about a political shift. It’s about an existential crisis for a party that used to control Missouri politics.

Kansas’ 39th House District is predominantly white and for decades has elected a Republican candidate. But new district borders and changing demographics have a first-time African American candidate optimistic about her chances. KCUR’s Noah Taborda has the story.

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Kansas City Today is hosted by Nomin Ujiyediin. It is produced by Byron Love and KCUR Studios and edited by Gabe Rosenberg and Lisa Rodriguez.

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As a newscaster and a host of a daily news podcast, I want to deliver the most important and interesting news of the day in an engaging and easily understandable way. No matter where you live in the metro or what you’re interested in, I want you to learn something from each newscast or podcast – and maybe even give you something to talk about at the dinner table. You can email me at nomin@kcur.org and find me on Twitter @NominUJ.
As an on-demand producer, I am focused on using my skills and experiences across multiple digital applications, platforms and media fields to create community focused audio, video and on-demand products for KCUR Studios. The media that I produce aims to inform, entertain and connect with the Kansas City metro area as we continue to learn from each other. Email me at byronlove@kcur.org.
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