Rep. Russ Carnahan showed up to his election results watch party last night with a concession speech written on some campaign flyers, folded up in his back pocket.
Before taking to the podium at around 10:15 p.m. to concede defeat, Carnahan sipped a pint of Guinness and went around to thank the supporters and strangers who'd come to the Dubliner pub on Washington Ave. to watch results roll in.
"This new First District, it belongs to the people. They deserved a debate," said Carnahan with a somber face. "The people have decided. They have chosen Congressman Lacy Clay. I respect that decision."
This congressional race pitted two incumbents from powerful political families against one another in a fight for the new GOP-designed District 1, which covers most of Clay's old district.
Pollsters had predicted Clay might have more support across the new district, but Carnahan's campaign staffers said they were surprised by just how dramatically Clay led, with 63 percent to Carnahan's 23 percent last night.
Carnahan told Daily RFT that Missouri should "stay tuned" for news of his future endeavors.
"For now, my wife and I have to get our youngest son ready to go to college next week," Carnahan said, adding that he will serve out his term in Congress focusing on fiscal policy and reelecting President Barack Obama.
When asked if there was anything he'd like to tell his opponent Wm. Lacy Clay, who took over his father's seat in 2001, Carnahan said "I'm sure he'll be just fine."
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.