Big money donors from across the state have been lining up behind the two announced candidates in the Republican Primary for State Senate in Missouri’s 23rd District.
With the help of proponents of Right-to-Work, businessman Bill Eigel has been receiving large donations, including one for $50,000, in a race to try to match the fundraising head-start enjoyed by State Representative Anne Zerr. Zerr has opposed passage of Right-to-Work legislation in Missouri as did former State Senator Tom Dempsey who resigned to accept a position in the private sector.
But the rush to try to tip the scales in favor of Eigel could be upset by the potential entry of local attorney and municipal judge Michael Carter.
Carter has been signaling for months an interest in the position and, like Donald Trump, could self-fund his own campaign and not have to rely on the myriad special interests lining up to do battle for this open seat.
Pundits believed Eigel’s chances received a boost when State Representative Mark Parkinson chose to drop out of the race and throw his support to Eigel against Zerr. But the entry of another conservative, well known candidate in the race would just as quickly dim Eigel’s hopes.
Carter says he shares a lot of the same conservative and pro-growth positions as Eigel, but like Zerr, has actual roots in the community. “You just don’t move into the state and then move into St. Charles County a year before the election because there is an open Senate seat. There are plenty of good people from St. Charles County, who know the people and the issues and aren’t just looking to use our community as a stepping stone,” Carter observed.
Carter also said he’s not excited about the influence the big donors seem to be buying. “I’m politically realistic, but would rather more local St. Charles political forces help our next State Senator as opposed to the good people of Joplin (referring to Eigel’s largest contributor). I also wonder about the giant labor union forces (referring to Zerr’s biggest backers). I think voters deserve and want someone who knows and will worry about what’s important to the people of St. Charles County and not what candidates will owe their biggest donors. Voters want independent-minded candidates more than ever,” Carter says.
Carter says he is still considering whether to get in the race when filing opens in February.
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Mike Carter is a past Director of the St. Louis Association of REALTORS, former Senior Lecturer at the University of Missouri, current Municipal Judge for the City of Wentzville, General Counsel for one of St. Charles County’s largest employers, worked for the Missouri Attorney General’s Office in Consumer Protection and Missouri’s Western District Court of Appeals, holds both his Juris Doctorate and Master’s Degree in Journalism from MIZZOU, he helped champion the countywide ban of red-light cameras in St. Charles County, is married with two children & family dog, and his family belongs to St. Joseph Parish Cottleville.