Chesterfield-based State Senator Jane Cunningham, who still officially represents Wildwood until the next General Assembly is sworn in during January, ended up a casualty of the redistricting process. She decided not to run for the State Senate in another district, and also stayed out of the Second District U.S. House race. In an interview that came before winners were formally declared Tuesday, she talked with Patch about the Presidential race, the U.S. Senate contest and her own future.
Cunningham was the author of the legislation in 2010 that led to voter rejection of President Obama's Health Care reform in the state. Cunningham called that voter response a "watershed," but she lamented that a majority of voters did not share her point of view.
"It frightens me that the rest of the country doesn’t seem to recognize that when we’ve got a debt we’ll probably never be able to pay off, when we’re losing jobs and losing freedoms, religious freedom and all other kinds of freedom, so I think with that when you lose those kinds of things, you’ve lost America and I’m scared to death," Cunningham said.
Cunningham said she respected U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, who lost to Claire McCaskill in a race for the U.S. Senate which many across the state and the country had felt could have been a Republican party pickup. The race gained national attention because of Akin's comments about rape and pregnancy, and Akin stayed in the contest despite a broad push across the GOP for him to drop out.
While also calling him a strong conservative, Cunningham did say she believed another Republican would have won the seat had Akin dropped out.
Cunningham said she heard from GOP voters in the days leading up to Tuesday that they would not support Akin's candidacy, but would vote for the rest of the ticket. She also believes that Akin's supporters may have brought some voters who were wary of a Romney bid, back into the fold.
Her Own Future
Cunningham has four years left to serve in the State Senate before term limits and doesn't rule out another run. She said she's discussed a possible leadership role with the Missouri Republican Party as the GOP looks to put a new emphasis on women.