Fogle, Helms react to results of House District 135 recount

Published: Nov. 13, 2020 at 4:30 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Ten days after election day, we now know who won the race for Missouri’s 135th House District. After a recount, Democrat Betsy Fogle has unseated Republican Steve Helms, winning by just 76 votes.

The district represents much of north Springfield.

In a race that was too close to call, bipartisan teams counted more than 17,700 ballots by hand Thursday.

“I am so thankful for Shane Schoeller and for the Greene County Clerks Office for their transparency and commitment to accuracy," Fogle said. “Of course it felt like a week was forever as a candidate, but I wouldn’t change a thing about it. I know how hard all the volunteers worked along with the Greene County Clerks Office.”

Helms agreed, saying he felt the recount process was done fairly.

”I believe Shane Schoeller and his staff did a great job down there and I don’t have any issues or complaints for what appears to be the outcome," Helms said.

Democrat Betsy Fogle was the apparent winner on election day. That was confirmed late Thursday night when the final ballots were counted again, giving her 8,548 votes. That brought her to 76 more votes than incumbent republican Steve Helms.

“I have a job to do and that job is to be the best representative of all of the people that live in the 135th, whether they voted for me or not," Fogle said. "Of course I would like to thank all of the supporters who have been with me throughout this journey and all of the people who put their faith in me and voted for me, but I will equally represent the people who didn’t and look forward to that opportunity in Jefferson City. “

Helms has held the 135th district seat since 2016. He said he was proud of the outcome for Republicans throughout the state, but naturally felt disappointed about his own election results.

“I’m going to continue to work on the issues that are most dear to me, which are health care and trying to make healthcare more affordable and accessible," Helms said. " I think I can do that as a private citizen just as well.”

Helms said he wishes Fogle well as she takes over his house seat.

”I hope that she would move to the center on her legislation and try to work on legislation that impacts everybody in a specific way," Helms said.

Fogle said she hopes this race shows people that their vote does matter.

”Sometimes it’s easy to feel disenfranchised and feel like your vote doesn’t matter, but we show that it does," Fogle said.

Fogle said she didn’t expect the race to be as close as it was. Moving forward, Fogle said she looks forward to learning from the other elected officials.

“As a freshman legislator it will be important to me to build relationships with people back here in the community that are experts in their own field, and just learn as much as I can about the process and the issues that are important to the people in district 135," Fogle said.

Now that the manual recount is finished, the results of the race for Missouri’s 135th House District proceed to the verification board, which is currently scheduled to meet Monday at 1:30 p.m. at the Springfield Historic Courthouse.

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