(Photo by Shannon Cay Bowers)

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The primary election was competitive, and the upcoming general election will be too, but Curtis Trent, Bishop Davidson, Bill Owen and Darin Chappell have more time to relax before the next legislative session than some of their soon-to-be peers.

In the Springfield area, Missouri’s House Districts 130, 131 and 137 and Senate District 20 each have one candidate, all of which are Republican, running in November’s general election, with no Democrat opposition.  

Among them, Davidson and Owen, both incumbents, had it even easier, having had no primary opposition either.

Davidson has been the representative of Missouri’s 130th District since 2021, and will be coasting into a second term in a district that termed out his predecessor, Jeff Messenger.

Bishop Davidson, candidate for State Representative, District 130, speaks at the Republican candidates forum, presented by Greene County Republican Women’s Club at the Relics Antique Mall, Event Center. (Photo by Jym Wilson)

130th: Davidson is a Republic graduate

“It was a squeaker!” Davidson said in a Facebook post after viewing that he received 100 percent of the primary vote. “In all seriousness, what a privilege these last years have been. I think back to all the support we’ve received as a team, and I’m humbled. It is that continued support that led to an uncontested primary. I’m doing my best, friends. And I hope I earn your vote again come November.”

Davidson graduated from Republic High School in 2013 and the University of Missouri in 2016, and worked for the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, a Delaware-based non-profit that promotes conservative thinking on college campuses. District 130 consists of much of Republic, West Springfield and rural areas between Battlefield and Willard.

131st: Owen has 38 years as a banker

Owen, like Davidson, is seeking reelection in District 131 after his first term in office where his predecessor, Sonya Anderson, termed out.

Owen attended Parkview High School in Springfield, Drury University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Bill Owen

Owen has spent 38 years in the banking industry, including time spent as the senior vice president for the Bank of Bolivar.

“I want to ensure that government is accountable to the people and that we are prioritizing Missouri’s citizens,” Owen’s campaign website says.

Owen’s newly configured district consists of much of northern and western Greene County, including Willard, Ash Grove and Walnut Grove. 

Darin Chappell, Republican Missouri House candidate in District 137, speaks at the Republican candidates forum, presented by Greene County Republican Women’s Club at the Relics Antique Mall, Event Center on July 14, 2022. (Photo by Jym Wilson)

137th: Newcomer Chappell won primary

Unlike Owen and Davidson, Chappell had to put up a fight in the primary election for Missouri’s 137th District. In what was truly a “squeaker,” Chappell won by 1.66 percent, with only 115 votes separating challenger Tom Barr and himself in what he called a “clean” campaign, from both sides.

Chappell is a former political science professor at Missouri State University and city administrator for Chillicothe, Bolivar and Seymour.

The incumbent, Rep. John Black, is running for reelection in the 129th District, as redistricting moved Marshfield, the city Black resides in, out of the 137th. 

The new District 137 that Chappell will represent contains the entirety of Greene County’s eastern border, including Fair Grove, Strafford and parts of Springfield and Rogersville. 

Curtis Trent, candidate for Missouri State Senate, speaks at the Republican candidates forum, presented by Greene County Republican Women’s Club at the Relics Antique Mall, Event Center. (Photo by Jym Wilson)

20th Senate: Trent moves up from House

Curtis Trent is the incumbent representative for House District 133, seeking to move into the state’s upper chamber by defeating fellow Republican challenger Brian Gelner in the primary for Missouri’s 20th Senate District, receiving 58.4 percent of the vote. Incumbent Sen. Eric Burlison is not running for reelection in the district amid his bid for the U.S. House seat being vacated by Republican Billy Long. 

Trent has been elected to represent southwest and western Springfield three times and served six years in Missouri’s House. While some constituents of his former district, primarily around the Battlefield area, will once again see his name on their ballot, he may be a new face to some of the newly redistricted 20th, which consists of most of Greene County outside of Springfield, and the entirety of Barton, Dade and Webster counties.  

While attack ads in the primaries from the Gelner campaign suggested Trent was not a resident of District 20, he confirmed with the Springfield Daily Citizen that he moved into the district in order to qualify for the seat.

“Many legislators must move blocks or a few miles to remain in their new district as did I,” Trent said. “I already have an understanding of the people, institutions and issues. From day one, I will be able to make a difference for our community.”

In the coming weeks, watch for added Daily Citizen coverage of the Nov. 8 elections, including previews of contested races for the Missouri General Assembly, as well as other statewide and Greene County elections. Find all of our election coverage here.

Jack McGee

Jack McGee is the government affairs reporter at the Springfield Daily Citizen. He previously covered politics and business for the Daily Citizen. He’s an MSU graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism and a minor political science. Reach him at jmcgee@sgfcitizen.org or (417) 837-3663. More by Jack McGee