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Three Potential Candidates Declare for Cunningham’s 33rd District Senate Seat

by Michael Boyink /

Mike Cunningham, Missouri’s 33rd District Senator, was elected into office in 2012. He will have served eight years in office in 2021,  which means he is unable to run again.

Three people have declared intentions to fill his seat.

Carla Eslinger (R)

Eslinger is a Gainesville graduate, and began her career as an elementary school teacher. She went on to become a principal, school superintendent, assistant commissioner of education for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary education. Prior to becoming the District 155 Representative she was a senior analyst for education services with AEM corporation. Eslinger lives in Wasola with her husband and two daughters.

Robert Ross (R)

Ross is a Houston, Missouri native, and is currently serving as Representative of Missouri District 142 (Howell, Phelps, Pulaski, and Texas counties). Ross is self-employed as a  professional land surveyor and also owns a shooting range. Ross lives in Eunice, Missouri along with his wife and two children.

Van Kelly (R)

Kelly is a Mountain Grove, Missouri native. Kelly has previously served as Deputy Sheriff in Ava, and as a State Representative for Ava and Douglas County. Kelly currently works as a dairy farmer and the director of Camp Joy Bible Youth Camp. Kelly resides in Norwood, Mo.

The deadline for candidates to officially file is March 31st, 2020. The election for Cunningham’s Senate seat will be held on November 3, 2020.