KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II has been reelected to serve his ninth term in the U.S. House of Representatives after defeating Republican challenger Ryan Derks.
The Associated Press called the race just before 11 p.m. Tuesday.
Cleaver was highly favored to win the race, according to most political experts. Analysts deemed the race safely Democratic as polls gave the incumbent a clear lead and Cleaver’s campaign raised more than $1.2 million compared to Derks’ roughly $66,000.
Now he’ll head back to Washington D.C., representing Missouri’s 5th district, which includes all of Lafayette, Ray and Saline counties along with portions of Clay and Jackson counties.
Even before his election to the House in 2004, Cleaver had a long history representing the area. He served as mayor of Kansas City from 1991 to 1999 and as a Kansas City councilman from 1979 to 1991.
Derks, however, argued it was time for a change in who’s representing the district in the U.S. House.
“It’s time for somebody to go to Washington D.C. who’s not concerned about political favors, who’s not concerned about what the party thinks and pick a fight with companies like Nike,” he previously told FOX4.
Cleaver said his top priorities for his new term include passing a second COVID-19 relief package and a new national highway bill. He’s also poised to lead the Housing Committee and hopes to tackle the huge need for more affordable housing.
“I’ll be right at the center of the affordable housing problem, and hopefully we can make some serious corrections,” Cleaver told FOX4. “And of course, we’re going to need a testing site to make sure these programs can be exported across the country, and what better place than the 5th district of Missouri.”