HILLSBORO, Mo. – Shane Roden was successful in the Republican primary for the 111th House district, despite coming under fire at the last minute for a photograph which could be a factor in the coming general election. Roden initially came under fire from his primary opponent, Jason Jarvis, while the polls were open. The Jefferson County Republican nominee upset Jarvis with a picture (featured above) of him posing with a WWII-era bomber, which Jarvis says mislead voters into thinking he was a veteran.
The picture went onto a flyer for election day distribution, and was addressed that day in a Facebook comment that the St. Louis Post-Dispatch attributed to Roden. In it, Roden says he never served and never meant to mislead voters. The picture features Roden with Congressman Sam Graves, who is a known aviation enthusiast. Despite not being a military veteran, Roden highlights his experience as an Eagle Scout, EMT, and fireman, as well as a volunteer with the Civil Air Patrol.
Roden said in his post that the 1945 Torpedo bomber belongs to the Commemorative Air Force in St. Charles.
“I was agitated that it was even brought up,” Roden told the Missouri Times on the phone. Roden said the attack ate at him enough that he responded at 4:03AM.
“My challenge to all of you, is ask yourself what have you done to better someone else’s life, community, state, or country? Not just complain buttruly help others?” Roden wrote in the post.
Sources in aviation and military have shared with The Missouri Times that most veterans would know that a plane like Torpedo would not be used by a veteran anywhere close to Roden’s age, yet Jarvis, a veteran, attacked Roden again today, saying that this is “not a case of sour grapes” but was an intentional ploy to look like a veteran.
“He was asked to place a disclaimer or use another photo. He has chosen to mislead voters instead.” Jarvis wrote in a Facebook post tagging Roden. “If you have time and room to place endorsements at the bottom of his campaign flyer, he could have added a disclaimer or changed the photo when he was notified it was misleading people. Instead he showed up at the VFW on the day of the election, handing out the same flyers even after a voter stated, ‘so you are both vets’ when the voter had seen both of our campaign material. This is a slap in the face to veterans and as low as you can get for a politician. If you are a firefighter why choose a photo of yourself next to military aircraft in a military flight suit? Why not use one of yourself in a fire fighter suit?” [sic]
Roden will be facing Democratic incumbent Rep. Michael Frame in the general election. Frame, a Navy veteran, said he would have put a disclaimer if he were in a similar situation, but that the situation is overall unfortunate because Roden has apologized. Frame declined to speculate whether or not it would impact voters in the general election.
“It’s unfortunate, he’s apologized,” Frame said. “I’m going to keep on marching forward and win.”