Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

2nd District: Wagner Holds off Newcomer VanOstran to Return to Congress

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

2nd District: Wagner Holds off Newcomer VanOstran to Return to Congress

Article excerpt

As election results trickled in Tuesday night, U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner approached a boy in a "Make America Great Again" red hat and asked his age.

Joseph Baker, of Ladue, replied that he is 12.

"Oh, can't vote yet," Wagner joked, although she wouldn't need any extras.

Wagner earned a fourth term in Congress, holding off Democrat newcomer Cort VanOstran, who vowed to push for health care protections and gun reform.

The incumbent Republican from Ballwin won just over half of the votes Tuesday in Missouri's second congressional district that includes parts of suburban St. Louis, St. Charles and Jefferson counties.

The congressional race was framed as the stalwart conservative versus the young candidate motivated by personal experience.

"We take everyone seriously and run like we are running from behind," Wagner said at the Village Bar and Restaurant, where about 200 supporters huddled around tables, at the bar and by televisions with Fox News reporting election results. The Des Peres eatery dates to 1879 and has lots of pictures on the walls, including a copy of "Custer's Last Fight" and portraits of Ronald Reagan, Andrew Carnegie, Charles Lindbergh, Abe Lincoln, Harry Truman and Walt Disney.

"They are leaders who made tough decisions," said Mark Disper, 55, the eatery's owner and host of what became a victory party. "Ann gets it done. She looks out for Missouri."

Wagner, 56, got her start as a committeewoman in Lafayette Township in St. Louis County in the 1990s. She became chair of the Missouri Republican Party, co-chair of the Republican National Committee and U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg before her first congressional win in 2012. She serves on the House committees for foreign affairs and financial services.

Challenger VanOstran's main hope for victory hinged on suburban women who may have turned against President Donald Trump since he won the district by 10 points in 2016. …

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