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Sen. Scott Sifton On Hitting Bottom For Missouri Democrats And How His Party Can Rise Again

State Sen. Scott Sifton is the latest guest on Politically Speaking, where he talked with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum about the dismal election results for the Missouri Democratic Party and ways it can get back on stable footing.

Missouri Democratic state Sen. Scott Sifton speaks after the close of the state legislative session on May 17, 2019.
File photo / Carolina Hidalgo / St. Louis Public Radio
St. Louis Public Radio
Missouri Democratic state Sen. Scott Sifton, of south St. Louis County, speaks after the close of the state legislative session on May 17, 2019.

The Affton Democrat represents Missouri's 1st Senate District, which takes in most of unincorporated south St. Louis County and municipalities like Webster Groves, Maplewood and Brentwood. Because of term limits, Sifton was barred from running again in the General Assembly’s upper chamber.

Here’s what Sifton talked about during the show:

  • How President Donald Trump’s overwhelming victory in Missouri almost certainly led to dreadful results for Democrats, including Gov. Mike Parson’s big win over Democratic state Auditor Nicole Galloway.
  • What happened in some competitive St. Louis County races, including Republican wins by state Sen. Andrew Koenig and U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner. Sifton also touched on the decline of Missouri Democrats’ fortunes in rural parts of the state.
  • Why the passage of Amendment 3, which repealed the Clean Missouri redistricting system, will have big consequences for Missouri Democrats going forward. He also touched on whether bipartisan commissions or appellate judges would even consider using the eligible voting standard when counting Missourians, which could mean children aren’t included when the redistricting process begins.
  • Whether Missouri Democrats have a strong enough bench to run in critical races in 2022 and 2024. Two years from now, Democrats will be defending state Auditor Nicole Galloway’s position and trying to take back a U.S. Senate seat held by Roy Blunt.

Sifton is an attorney who was first elected to the Missouri House in 2010. After a single term, Sifton challenged Sen. Jim Lembke in one of the most competitive state Senate contests of the decade. Sifton narrowly prevailed and won reelection in 2016 by a relatively comfortable margin.

Sifton considered running for governor this year but bowed out of that race to endorse Galloway. He ended up not running for anything this year, but he hasn’t necessarily ruled out reentering the electoral arena at some point.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Scott Sifton on Twitter: @ScottSifton

Music: “Eulogy” by Tool

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.