Pierson set to kick off campaign for lt. governor


ST. LOUIS – After announcing his intention to run for lieutenant governor in June, church founder and state Rep. Tommie Pierson, D-St. Louis, will kick off his campaign Wednesday night in St. Louis at the Communications Workers of America building on Grissom Dr.

The former black caucus chair would become the first black statewide office holder if elected to the position, a fact he acknowledged in an interview with NPR earlier this year. However, he also wants to focus on more unity throughout the state, and he believes his personal experiences as a leader in labor and as a child growing up in rural Tennessee give him a breadth on his resume few other candidates have.

“As the son of a sharecropper, a 32-year member of the United Auto Workers and the pastor of a church in Ferguson, I have a unique perspective on the issues Missourians face,” Pierson said in a statement. “We need to build a better future for all Missourians by understanding each other and building bridges across communities.”

Pierson currently has the support of many Democratic members of the Capitol, including Sens. Scott Sifton, D-St. Louis; Kiki Curls, D-Kansas City; Gina Walsh, D-St. Louis; and House Minority Leader Jake Hummel, D-St. Louis. Congressman Lacy Clay and St. Louis City Treasurer Tishaura Jones have also endorsed Pierson, as have various leaders of the faith community in St. Louis.

The representative will combat Springfield physician and attorney Brad Bradshaw in the Democratic Primary, but rumors have been swirling that former St. Louis Congressman Russ Carnahan will also jump into the race. A Public Policy Poll from September showed Carnahan with far more support among Democrats than either Pierson or Bradshaw.