The Missouri Senate gained another Democrat on Wednesday, as former state Rep. Lauren Arthur took the oath of office.
But because Arthur is taking office before the 2019 regular session, which starts in January, she can only run for re-election once due to term limits.
Arthur was warmly welcomed by her new Senate colleagues after being sworn in during the special session, and said she’s looking forward to the new position.
“I’m really excited about the opportunity to be in a more deliberative body, and it seems like there are great opportunities to work across the aisle on substantive issues,” she said.
Arthur said she already has spoken with her constituents in Clay County about the issues that are important to them. What’s she’s learned: “So far, health care is a major issue and making sure it is not only accessible but also affordable.”
“And, of course,” she added, “education is my background and my passion and I look forward to working on those issues.” Arthur taught with Teach for America while earning a master’s degree in education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Arthur defeated Rep. Kevin Corlew in the June 5 special election for the Senate District 17 seat, which had been held by Republicans for 12 years. It was a closely watched race, as it was the first one after Gov. Eric Greitens resigned.
Arthur replaces Ryan Silvey, who was appointed to serve on the state Public Service Commission.
Samuel King is the Missouri government and politics reporter for KCUR. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter: @SamuelKingNews.