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Adrian Plank slips ahead of Chimene Schwach to take Democrat slot for House District 47

Adrian Plank beat Chimene Schwach by just 48 votes in Tuesday night’s primary election for the Democratic nomination for House District 47.

Plank will face Republican John Martin in the Nov. 8 general election. This was Plank’s third campaign for the same position after failing twice to defeat Chuck Basye, who could not run for state representative again after hitting his term limit.

Plank, union carpenter, claimed 2,325 votes or 50.5% of the vote in the District 47 race, according to the Secretary of State’s election count. Schwach, a former Boone County advocate supervisor for Missouri’s Court Appointed Special Advocates, won 2,277 votes or 49.4%.

“The race is way closer than I thought it would be,” Plank said when he had fallen behind by 19 votes an hour before the final election results.

Plank gathered with supporters at Community Property Management’s building. The supporters and volunteers remained optimistic, though the worry on everyone’s faces was apparent.

Then, moments after the final results were announced, the mood changed dramatically.

“Can you believe that?” Plank said. “I never thought my first win would be against a Democrat.”

Plank built his campaign around a proactive platform to help working-class residents make a living wage. He said he is passionate about making the working class a priority if he wins the general election.

If Plank wins the November general election, he also said he wants to focus on minimizing the influence of superPACs because “that system doesn’t work for the working-class.”

SuperPACs can have disproportionate influence on policy that someone of the working class can not compete with, he said.

After the results were in, Schwach gracefully said she would work with Plank to help the party win in the general election in the fall.

“I regretfully concede the race to Adrian, and I hope that we can bring the party together in the general election” she said.

Plank agreed that the Democratic party needs to come together now to help win in November.

“We have to keep working,” he said.

The Columbia Missourian is a community news organization managed by professional editors and staffed by Missouri School of Journalism students who do the reporting, design, copy editing, information graphics, photography and multimedia.