ST. LOUIS – A campaign kickoff for Rep. Jake Hummel, the Democratic nominee for the 4th Senate District, felt more like a victory party than a rallying cry.
Democratic officeholders, union members, staffers and supporters attended the event at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Hall in St. Louis City. They showed their support for Hummel, the state AFL-CIO’s secretary-treasurer in his upcoming general election fight against Republican Bryan Young.
The district is overwhelmingly Democratic. Former Sen. Joe Keaveny won his two elections to the Senate in 2010 and 2014 with well over 70 percent of the vote in both races. Hummel has a safe path forward to continue to represent the party he has helped lead in Jefferson City for the last four years.
As minority floor leader, Hummel has found wins despite a Republican supermajority across the aisle. He led efforts to maintain Gov. Jay Nixon’s vetoes on labor legislation like Right-to-Work and paycheck protection.
“Some issues stand out,” Hummel told the 100-plus in attendance. “Some rise up that you get a fire inside you. The reason I ran was to protect the men and women I work with every day.”
Nixon attended the event and thanked Hummel for his work in the House.
“There is no stronger advocate than Rep. Jake Hummel… when I have gone to the floor and needed an ally,” he said.
The entire reason Hummel was kicking off his campaign was indirectly tied to the governor. When Nixon appointed Keaveny to be a judge in St. Louis, his vacated Senate spot led to an intraparty debate to determine who would represent the Democrats in the general election. Hummel beat out Rep. Karla May for the nomination.
Hummel closed by citing another Democratic victory: the defeat of SJR 39 which he called “strictly discrimination.”
“When we’re able to stop the bad things, that’s what we take the most pride in,” he said.
He also said he looked forward to filibustering on the Senate floor with fellow state Senate candidate Stephen Webber, who drove in from Columbia to attend the event.