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Chillicothe News - Chillicothe, MO
  • Lair keeps house post

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  • Missouri Rep. Mike Lair, who was elected 7th District state representative in 2008, won his bid for re-election Tuesday, once again beating out Democrat Harry Wyse.
    The margin of victory was larger than it was in 2008, with Lair capturing 60 percent of the votes cast. Lair received a total of 8,621 votes, compared to Wyse's 5,748 votes.
    Tuesday's election reflected boundary changes in the Missouri House's 7th district. While Livingston County remained in the 7th district, the counties of Carroll, Caldwell and a tiny bit of Clinton County, which had been in the 7th district, are now in other districts. The new 7th District boundary consists of Livingston and Grundy counties, as well as a large portion of Linn County.
    Lair carried all of the counties, with the closest margin coming in Linn County, where Lair received 2,169 votes, compared to Wyse's 1,936 votes — a 233-vote spread.
    Livingston County voters gave a strong nod to Lair, providing him with 3,721 votes to Wyse's 2,267 votes. Grundy County was the last to post election results, giving Lair 2,731 votes, compared to Wyse's 1,545 votes.
    Lair carried each of Livingston County's voting precincts, while his opponent's strongest support in the county came from the Green and Mooresville voting precinct, where Wyse captured 48 percent of the votes cast, 133 votes to Lair's 143 votes.
    This election cycle was the second time Lair and Wyse met at the ballot box. In 2008, the two were the party nominees in a tight race for the open seat created by John Quinn (R-Chillicothe), who had reached term limits. In that election, Lair received 51 percent of the votes cast in the entire district, reflecting a 428-vote spread. Wyse carried Livingston County with 54 percent, compared to Lair's 46 percent. However, Lair pocketed the most votes in Carroll and Caldwell counties. Wyse had hoped to pick up greater support following redistricting.
    With Lair's victory, Livingston County will continue to be represented by a Republican in the House of Representatives. The county has been represented by a Republican in the House since 1987, when Dale Whiteside was elected in a special election, after Democrat Steve Danner resigned the post to take the administrative position as a law judge. Lair said he was pleased with the election results.
    "I ran for the Missouri House of Representatives in 2008 to reaffirm what I had taught in social studies classes for years," Lair said. "Public service is a high calling and should be a citizen's way of repaying all of the blessings that we, as Americans, enjoy."
    "I am so pleased," Lair said, after the Livingston County votes were posted at the courthouse, and he had learned of his victory in Linn County.
    Lair spent 38 years as a school teacher.
    "I've got an awful lot of kids who were in my classroom and an awful lot of people who we have dealt with over the last four years, and I really feel like that was the key... the fact that they know what I've done," Lair said. "They know what I've tried to do over the time period, and they came out in force."
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