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Democrat Baker seeks state Senate seat

Matthew Sanders

A well-known local Democrat said Thursday that she will seek a state Senate seat, setting up a primary in the race for the 19th District.

Judy Baker, a former state representative who lives in Columbia, in a news release announced her campaign for the seat currently held by Republican Caleb Rowden. The district covers Boone and Cooper counties.

“We need to invest in Missouri’s people,” Baker said in a prepared statement. “For too long we have been represented by politicians who work for those with means to influence their own interests over the interests of us all. As your State Senator, I know we can do better and return the focus of our legislature to supporting education, good health, and the financial well-being of the people.”

In addition to being a state representative, Baker has taught classes at Columbia College and the University of Missouri and was director of Region 7 for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She ran unsuccessfully for state treasurer in 2016, losing to current attorney general Eric Schmitt.

Democrat Michela Skelton announced in August that she will seek Rowden’s seat. Skelton has twice run unsuccessfully for a seat in the Missouri General Assembly — she lost a special election for the 50th House District to Republican Sarah Walsh in August 2017 and a rematch of the same race last November.

Rowden is the state Senate majority leader. He was a state House member before winning the 19th Senate District over Democrat Stephen Webber in 2014.

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