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Politically Speaking: Republican Randy Jotte hopes to turn 1st Senatorial District red again

Randy Jotte
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio
Randy Jotte

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome Republican Randy Jotte to the program for the first time.

Jotte is running against state Sen. Scott Sifton in the 1st Senatorial District, which takes in portions of St. Louis County. Since the 1st District is somewhat evenly divided between political parties, the Jotte-Sifton match-up is one of the most competitive state Senate contests in Missouri.

You can listen to Sifton's most recent appearance on Politically Speaking by clicking here.

Jotte is a St. Louis native who received his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University. He received a Fulbright Scholarship, and then attended Harvard Medical School. He moved to Chagrin Falls, Ohio, where he served several terms on that town’s council.

In 2001, Jotte and his family moved back to the St. Louis area. He’s an associate professor of emergency medicine at Washington University and works in the emergency department at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

Jotte was elected to the Webster Groves City Council in 2004. He unsuccessfully ran for state representative in 2006 and the St. Louis County Council in 2010. But even though he was unsuccessful, he came relatively close to prevailing in those two Democratic-leaning districts. He also unsuccessfully sought the 2nd Congressional District seat in 2012 against Republican Ann Wagner.


Here’s what Jotte had to say on the show:

  • Jotte says his number one priority if he’s elected to the Senate is improving the state’s Medicaid program. He says the money saved through making the program more efficient could be used for a number of purposes, including possibly expanding eligibility for the program.
  • Unlike Sifton, Jotte says he in favor of “right to work,” which would bar unionized entities from requiring employees to pay dues as a condition of employment. “Any healthy organization has that accountability throughout,” he said. “And I think it will work out fine for all.”
  • Another key difference between Sifton and Jotte is on abortion rights. While Sifton supports abortion rights, Jotte says he opposes abortion rights.
  • Jotte says it’s hard to predict how GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump will affect his district, which includes much of unincorporated south St. Louis County. He says most people he talks to “aren’t talking about other parts of the ticket. ... Which is really what it should be about,” he said. “It should be about myself versus the other candidate. What are each individual offering?”

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter: @jmannies

Follow Randy Jotte on Twitter: @randyjotte

Music: “Corduroy” by Pearl Jam 

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.
Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.