Depending on who you ask, the defeat of Republican Rep. Anne Zerr in the race for a vacant state senate seat in Missouri is either the result of her support for LGBTQ citizens or her opposition to the anti-union, “right-to-work” movement.
Right-to-work would bar Missouri companies from signing contracts requiring employees to join a union, or pay union dues, and fueled what county executive and historian Steve Ehlmann called the most expensive political campaign in the history of St. Charles County, Mo., according to St. Louis Today.
Zerr’s Republican rival, a supporter of right-to-work, received more than $425,000 in campaign contributions and materials to win the GOP primary by a margin if just 385 votes out of more than 27,000 ballots.
But if all you read or hear are the boasts by the National Organization for Marriage, then it was their handiwork against Zerr and other candidates backed by “LGBT extremists” that “ended their political careers” on behalf of “Missourians who support traditional marriage.”
“Anne Zerr betrayed her constituents and the people of Missouri when she sided with LGBT extremists to defeat SJR 39, which would have given voters the right to protect supporters of marriage from discrimination by governmental entities,” said Brian Brown, NOM’s president in a statement.
“We did what we promised and went after her, and I couldn’t be happier that she has been defeated. Zerr joins a long list of Republicans who have ended their political careers by voting against the interests of people who support marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”
The “betrayal” NOM refers to is a decision Zerr made in April, to break a deadlocked committee vote by deciding to vote with the Democrats against a constitutional amendment that would have actively permitted discrimination on the grounds of sexuality. Without once mentioning the huge financial mess NOM is in, Brown crowed at how his organization single-handedly stopped Zerr from “discriminating against people of faith:”
“…we have defeated Anne Zerr over her vote to subject supporters of marriage to punitive governmental actions simply for not wanting to be involved in gay ‘marriage.’ We urge Republican officials in Missouri and elsewhere to pay attention to this pattern. If you vote with LGBT activists against those who support marriage, you do so at the risk of your political career.”
Zerr held her head up high in the aftermath of her narrow defeat, agreeing that she had been targeted by outside “special interests.” In a Facebook post, she wrote:
“Ads were mean, hateful, and lies. I have never been treated with such disrespect, and that means the St. Charles County community that has supported me for almost 40 years was treated with disrespect too. I’m pretty protective of my county.
“I leave this job knowing that I voted and acted with integrity and with dignity, always voting the way I did because it was the right thing to do, not because it was the popular thing to do. I leave with no regrets.”