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Search begins for a new 45th district House seat

Kip Kendrick
MO House of Representatives
Rep. Kip Kendrick, D-Columbia, Jefferson City, MO

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)

After six years as the 45th district House seat, former democratic Representative Kip Kendrick of Columbia resigned from his position.

Kendrick announced in November that he will forgo his final term and join Senator-elect Greg Razer, D-Kansas City, as his chief of staff.

The search is on for who will replace Kendrick, and become the new district 45th House seat.

Candidates have come forward and shown their interest in taking on the position. This election process will be different as there will be no primary.

David Tyson Smith, Columbia attorney and candidate for the democratic party, said the Democratic Central Committee will choose their final candidates by January 27th.

“The Democratic Central Committee is going to pick the Democratic candidate, each party’s committee is going to pick their candidate, so there will not be a primary election, they will each pick their candidate and then those candidates will run against each other in the general election," said Smith.

Missouri's Governor Mike Parson has set the date for a special election for the 45th district House seat for April 6.

David Tyson Smith is a local attorney from Columbia and University of Missouri alumnus. He says he believes his background in law provides the skillset needed to take on this position. Smith says he's excited to serve the city that he grew up in and the people can put their trust in him to work hard for the city of Columbia.

“I think we need to do the right thing for Missouri. Like I said we’re in kind of a difficult spot right now both state-wide and nationally, but I want to continue to fight for the goals of Missouri. I grew up in Columbia and I graduated from the University of Missouri, so I want to make sure we protect the University and continue to fight for the common people. I think that’s the most important thing that we continue to fight for people.”, said Tyson.

Caleb Hall, an attorney, who has worked as a legislative analyst for the Missouri House of Representatives, is the only candidate that already has experience working in the House. In continuing Kendrick's works with the state's budget, Hall says he has experience working in a minor budget committee when he worked in the House, and he believes he could fill that role.

“I think our local democratic representation through Representative Stephens and Representative Kendrick has been admirable, while I am humbly coming forward because I want to do right by a community and a city that’s done right by me. My wife and I love Columbia and I think I could be an effective advocate in this position. Of all the candidates that have come forward, I am the only one that is coming with previous experience from the House and that is experience that I could use to fight for Columbia and Boone County," said Hall.

Scott Cristal, a local entrepreneur who works closely in local community boards and community service committees, says he's focused on making improvements for Missourian's lifestyle moving forward in spite of the pandemic. Cristal would like to work with St. Louis and Kansas City to attract more businesses to the Columbia area.

Cristal said, "Running for rep, there's a lot of different issues that I can see going forward in the future that I would like to take part in. I'm very optimistic about the future in terms of what's going to happen after this pandemic."

"Whoever ends up being chosen I think is going to do a really good job," said Cristal

The Muleskinners will host a zoom event on Friday, Jan. 15. The event will allow the public to formally meet the candidates seeking nomination from the Democratic party.

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Victoria Bragg

Victoria Bragg joined the ABC 17 News team as a multimedia journalist in October 2020.

She is a graduate of Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas and is a Dallas native.

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