JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – With the general election less than 3 months away, House Democrats have started their campaigns for caucus leadership.
Reps. Gail McCann Beatty, Kip Kendrick and DaRon McGee have all expressed interest in running for new leadership positions.
McCann Beatty set to run for minority leader
Rep. Gail McCann Beatty, D-Kansas City, will be running for House Minority Leader. She currently serves as the Assistant Minority Floor Leader, a position she’s held for the last four years.
“It is something that I think I am prepared for,” she said. “I have been extremely active in taking part in the caucus. … I think that I can keep our caucus together as we deal with some of the challenges we may have to face going into the next session.”
She also cited her involvement in the caucus helping with other House races and raising money. She wants to work towards a goal of increasing Democrats’ numbers in the chamber.
McCann Beatty also said she can work well with Republican leadership. During the last session, she received a standing ovation from both parties for her work on the Budget Committee.
No other candidates have announced for the position yet.
Kendrick running for minority whip
Rep. Kip Kendrick, D-Columbia, announced his candidacy for House Minority Whip last week. Rep. John Rizzo, D-Kansas City, who’s running for the senate, previously held the position.
“My family and I have carefully considered the decision to run for leadership. I am pleased that the decision has been very well received by my colleagues and has strong support from caucus members,” he said.
Kendrick said he would bring some different aspects Democratic leadership. He said that he would bring a representative from mid-Missouri to the table, rather than just the traditional strongholds of St. Louis and Kansas City.
Echoing the party’s nominee for governor, Kendrick said his rural roots in Monroe City would help the party make a necessary outreach to more rural voters.
In his first term in the House, Kendrick focused on several issues that he could focus on as a member of leadership. He also announced his intention to refile student debt relief legislation.
McGee to run for caucus secretary
But Kendrick wasn’t the only first-term Democrat to announce for a leadership position.
Rep. DaRon McGee, D-Kansas City, told the Missouri Times he will be running for minority caucus secretary. Rep. Karla May, D-St. Louis, currently holds the position.
“I want to help us gain seats and recruit to help us grow the size of the chamber,” McGee said. “I want to be part of a team to help grow our seats and grow our state and our party and to move our state in the right direction.”
During his first year in session, McGee grew close with McCann Beatty. She became one of his mentors in the caucus.
“He’s dedicated to the caucus,” she said about him. “he wants to be active outside of just being a legislator. He’s very much concerned about how do we increase our numbers as well.”