Republicans won a veto-proof supermajority in the Missouri House on Tuesday, picking up at least four seats and shrinking Democratic power in the state legislature to an historic low.
The new alignment will likely mean several bills that died thanks to Gov. Jay Nixon's veto pen will get new life, most prominently one mandating voters show photo ID to cast a ballot and another making it more difficult to prove discrimination cases against former employers. Other issues that stalled because of Democratic opposition or threats of a veto by the governor, such as changes to the state's labor laws, could also be back on the table.
Nixon, a Democrat, easily won re-election Tuesday.
"We're going to sit down with our caucus, and any areas where we can work with the governor we certainly will," said Rep. John Diehl, a Town and Country Republican who is expected to be chosen as House Majority Leader. "But we are going to take advantage of our new majority. Voters sent a pretty clear message tonight that the legislature is going to have a significant say over what happens in this state over the next couple years."
Republicans appear to have won 110 seats in the chamber to only 53 for Democrats. It takes 109 votes to overturn a governor's veto. In the Missouri Senate, Republicans held on to their veto-proof majority and hold 25 of the chamber's 34 seats.
Most -- including Republican leaders -- had predicted Democrats could make marginal gains this year after they suffered staggering defeats in 2010 that saw the party lose 17 seats and give the GOP its biggest majority in history.
Democrats pointed to several factors that hurt them on election night: a massive GOP fundraising advantage, party infighting, and a newly drawn legislative map that includes far more GOP-leaning districts. Some also complained that Nixon, after building a big lead in his race and a massive campaign war chest, should have done more to help his fellow Democrats in tough legislative races.
Senate District 31 -- Republican Ed Emery defeated Democrat Charles Burton.
House District 33 --Republican Donna Pfautsch defeated Democrat Ron Harvey.