A week of big announcements in Jefferson City
With thanks to AIM lobbyist Trent Watson
Here are some highlights of the past week in the State Capital. As Trent says…it’s going to be a long campaign.
State Auditor Tom Schweich has announced he is challenging former Missouri House Speaker and U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway for the Republican nomination for Missouri governor in 2016. Each candidate has more than $1 million in their respective campaign funds. The only Democrat to announce candidacy for governor is Attorney General Chris Koster, who in October listed more than $2.6-million on hand. Immediately following Schweich’s announcement, both Republicans issued press releases critical of each other. It could be a long campaign road.
St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman has announced he’s running in 2016 for Missouri attorney general, setting up a primary with Senator Scott Sifton (D-St. Louis), a fellow Democrat. The only publicly announced Republican candidate at this time is Senator Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia).
The Missouri House Democratic Caucus has lost another member. Representative Keith English of Florissant announced this week that he would be an Independent. The move puts the House at 117 Republicans, 44 Democrats, and English, the lone Independent. English has often split with his party on abortion and gun rights. Last year he cast the deciding vote to overturn Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of an income tax cut bill that was strongly opposed by Democrats.