It was a close call, but eastern Christian County voters chose Dr. Tricia Derges to go to Jefferson City.
Derges secured 2,018 votes, or 30.278 percent, to win a four-way Republican primary election in Missouri’s 140th House District. With no opposition from other parties, Derges stands to be elected to the state legislature unopposed in November.
Derges defeated Jeff Parnell (1,878 votes), Jason Shaffer (1,626 votes) and Jamie Ray Gragg (1,143 votes) to win the primary on Aug. 4.
Derges has lived in Christian County for 30-plus years. She and her husband have a large family with eight kids and 23 grandkids.
“I think I have a great diversity that is critically, critically needed on the floor in Jefferson City. I’ve been up there the last six years helping to write, helping to testify toward very important, critical health bills. As you know, we’ve got a health crisis now on top of, obviously, educational crisis. We’ve got a lot of things going on,” Derges said.
Derges was a business owner in Ozark for more than 20 years. In her 50s, she sold he business and went to medical school in the Netherlands Antilles and obtained a Doctor of Medicine. She returned to southwest Missouri and opened Lift Up Someone Today, a nonprofit clinic named the top new non-profit company of the year by Drury University in 2018.
“We’ve served over 25,000 people. I do not take federal aid; I have little tolerance for government control regarding getting their hands in business, medical, or education. I will absolutely fight that, because they can tell you what to do then,” Derges said.