SHELBINA, Mo. -- Cindy O'Laughlin felt that if she was going enter government service and to take time away from her family and her business, she wanted to be able to accomplish something.
"I know that people in the Senate have more power to get things done," O'Laughlin said.
O'Laughlin launched an advertising campaign early and outspent three Missouri House members who she beat in Tuesday's vote. She also benefitted from several political action groups that branded the three lawmakers as "career politicians."
O'Laughlin, 61, won outright in some of the 14 counties, but kept it close enough in the other counties to edge her closest competitor by about 2,650 votes.
Rep. Craig Redmon, R-Canton, came in second, with Rep. Nate Walker, R-Kirksville and Rep. Lindell Shumake, R-Hannibal, finishing third and fourth.
Crystal Stephens of Hannibal won the Democratic nomination for the Senate seat, with no competition. Stephens was one of the plaintiffs filing a lawsuit to force different water treatments at Hannibal.
O'Laughlin, who co-owns Leo O'Laughlin, Inc., promised that she'll be a more conservative voice in the Missouri Senate.
"We need to say ‘no' to things that don't make sense and go after priorities that do the most for taxpayers," O'Laughlin said.
One of her criticisms of the three House members was that they voted to spend $48 million on an art center on the campus of the University of Missouri at Kansas City. Some ads called it "a dance hall," and O'Laughlin said while she supports the arts she would rather spend money on roads, schools and care for the elderly.
In a news release after the election results were final, O'Laughlin said the three lawmakers "have always had the best interests of Northeast Missouri in mind and should be commended for their years of service."
Redmon said he was proud of his campaign team and family.
"We worked hard and overcame a lot of obstacles. Even though we were outspent by a lot, we made it a fairly good showing," Redmon said.