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State Rep.-elect Betsy Fogle On Her Razor-Thin Win That Flipped A Seat Blue

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State Rep.-elect Betsy Fogle
Courtesy of Betsy Fogle
State Rep.-elect Betsy Fogle will be one of two Democrats representing Greene County in the Missouri General Assembly.

State Rep.-elect Betsy Fogle is the latest guest on Politically Speaking, where the Springfield Democrat talked with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum about her 76-vote win.

Fogle is the only candidate of either party to flip a state legislative district during the 2020 election. She defeated Rep. Steve Helms, R-Springfield, to represent the 135th District, which includes a portion of Greene County.

With her win, Fogle will join House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, D-Springfield, as the only Democrats to represent Greene County in the Missouri General Assembly. While Greene County is historically a Republican stronghold, it has become more competitive in recent years when it comes to state legislative contests.

Here’s what Fogle discussed on the program:

  • Her major priorities when she’s sworn into the Missouri House early next year, including how the Legislature should expand Medicaid. Missourians approved a constitutional amendment that requires the state to expand the health care program.
  • The need to attract greater access to health care services, especially in rural areas. One of the big challenges for policymakers is filling in health care gaps in rural communities where hospitals have closed down.
  • Voter approval this year of Amendment 3, which repealed the Clean Missouri state legislative redistricting system. Fogle said she’ll be advocating for using the total population standard when counting people. Amendment 3 provides the option of using the eligible voter standard, which could mean children wouldn’t be counted during the redistricting process.
  • Whether Missouri should overhaul its absentee ballot process next year. Lawmakers passed legislation this year that temporarily added COVID-19 as an excuse to get an absentee ballot and created a mail-in ballot option that needs to be notarized.

Fogle is a Springfield native who has worked in the public health care field for most of her professional career. Her race against Helms was her first run for office.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Betsy Fogle on Twitter: @Betsy4MO

Music: “Neighborhood #2 (Laika)” by Arcade Fire

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