Missouri Senator Scott Rupp has lost the Republican nomination for Secretary of State to Rep. Shane Schoeller.
At 11:30 p.m., with 3,418 of 3,420 precincts reporting, a difference of 4,542 votes separated the two Republican frontrunners: Schoeller with 193,033 votes and Rupp with 188,491. A third Republican candidate, Bill Stouffer, was well behind Schoeller and Rupp.
Schoeller, a state representative from Willard, MO, will face Democratic candidate Jason Kander in November. Kander won easily over MD Rabbi Alam, 247,245 votes to 37,316 votes.
Libertarian candidate Cisse W. Spragins was uncontested, as was Constitution Party candidate Justin Harter.
The election for Missouri Secretary of State is Nov. 6, 2012.
Sen. Rupp, a resident of Wentzville, previously served as a Missouri State Representative (2002-2006) and is currently a Missouri State Senator. Term limits prevent him for running for another senate term.
Rupp hosted a watch party at Quintessential in St. Charles on Tuesday. About 100 people filtered in throughout the night to chat with Rupp and enjoy a drink and buffet dinner.
The room was filled with supporters laughing and talking early in the night. Some tracked election results from iPads and laptops.
"I can't believe it," one supporter said, as she glanced at the results around 11 p.m. and saw Schoeller pulling slightly ahead. By 11:30 p.m., mostly close family and friends of Rupp's lingered.
When it was clear that Rupp was defeated, family members hugged and friends took a shot in his honor at the bar.
"This is hard for me to watch," Shannon Schaper, Wentzville, Rupp's sister-in-law said. "Scott is an absolutely amazing man that supports our children. He's my children's uncle and he is an amazing father and husband."
Schaper said it's a shame people couldn't realize what an advocate Rupp is or get out and vote.
Rupp's sister Michelle Rhoades, of St. Charles, said she stands by him no matter what.
"It just wasn't in God's will," she said. "There will be something else for him."
Rupp said he was disappointed, but still seemed in good spirits on Tuesday night.
"Obviously, we wanted to win--to work for 14 months to come up less than one percent, it makes me feel very proud," he said.
Rupp said his campaign spent the least amount of money of all his opponents and still almost pulled it off.
"St. Charles and Lincoln County delivered for us--huge," he said. "I'm humbled by that amount of support."
Rupp has two years left to complete for his Senate term and said that's what he'll continue to focus on.
"We still have a lot of things that need to be done in this state and we'll still continue to work for taxpayers and kids with special needs, and we'll be back on the job again tomorrow," he said.