He's the senator from northern Missouri's 28th District. She's the senator from the adjoining 12th District in the state's northwest corner.

On the Senate floor, they're equals. Elsewhere, state Sen. Pat Danner can pull rank on state Sen. Steve Danner. After all, he's her son.The Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures said the Danners are believed to be the only mother-son combination in a single state Senate or House. There was one in North Dakota, but the mother was defeated in November. Father-son combos are more common, the group said.

Ms. Danner, of Smithville, has served in the state Senate since 1982. Her eldest son was sworn in Jan. 9, having defeated the only incumbent Missouri senator who lost in the November general election. He previously served three terms in the state House.

Ms. Danner, 56, says that of her three children, 37-year-old Steve is the only "political animal."

"I think both of us have the same philosophy - we serve our constituents first," said Danner, of Kirksville.

The two Democrats share a Jefferson City apartment during the legislative session, but family harmony won't be disrupted by differences of opinion, Ms. Danner said.

She said the districts they represent are both mostly rural, with regional state universities, junior colleges and a number of medium-size and small towns.

"We will think a lot alike," Ms. Danner said. "Our districts are almost mirror images of each other."