JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The House has decided on who the next Majority Floor Leader will be, picking Rep. Rob Vescovo to fill the position following the departure of now Senator-elect Mike Cierpiot. But the race to become the next Assistant Majority Floor Leader is just getting started.
So far, several names have been mentioned as potential candidates: Reps. Curtis Trent, Shane Roden, Jered Taylor, or J. Eggleston, but now, another state representative is looking to join the fray: Rep. Shamed Dogan.
The Ballwin Republican on Wednesday sent a letter to his fellow caucus colleagues, announcing his intent to run for the position next year and asking for their support.
Dogan says he’s running because he feels that he has shown himself to be a thoughtful leader in the House with experience gained from his work on a large variety of issues, spanning numerous topics. In his three years in the Missouri House, Dogan has served as the Chairman of the Committee on Local Government, as well as a member of the Elementary and Secondary Education and Crime Prevention and Public Safety committees. He has also been a strong and passionate figure, particularly with the contentious issues he’s brought forward, whether it be ethics reform, Blue Alert, photo ID, or the hair braiding legislation.
“I can bring a lot of advice to my colleagues when they are trying to navigate their priorities through the legislative process,” Dogan said. “The depth and breadth of these policy areas I’ve been involved with will help me in getting these issues to the floor and help my colleagues walk through these issues and try to get the bills in a good place before we grant final passage.”
In the letter, Dogan discussed one of his priorities if he were picked as the next Assistant Majority Floor Leader: his desire to produce the best possible legislation.
“We need to use the perfection process to perfect bills, instead of relying on the Senate or passing flawed bills that get struck down or have to be fixed later,” he wrote. “I think it’s really important that we get the legislation right the first time.”
When asked about the challenges he foresees if he wins the race for Assistant Majority Floor Leader, Dogan said the challenge was to work with all members to achieve their goals.
“We have a good problem to have: a supermajority caucus. And we have a diverse number of opinions and districts that people represent, and you have to try and be accommodating to all of your members. You can’t always say yes,” he said. “But that’s one of my strengths: being upfront with my colleagues in a respectful way. That’s something I’ve tried to do throughout my time in the House.”
He also said that the role calls for representing the entire caucus, which means putting the agenda of the caucus before his own. He says that’s one of the things that excites him about the role, as it provides an opportunity to work for the priorities of the whole caucus as well as to benefit the entire state.
“As I have done throughout my time in the House, I will work to ensure that we can engage in a spirited debate on the floor, but also to disagree without being disagreeable,” he wrote. “I will be fair and honest to every caucus member who wants to offer an amendment on the floor because we all deserve an opportunity to improve legislation before we take a final vote on it. I will work with the rest of leadership to ensure that the bills we pass are fiscally responsible and reflective of the agenda that the voters elected us to accomplish.”
You can view the full letter below:
I am writing to announce that I am running for Assistant Majority Floor Leader next year, and to humbly ask for your support. I appreciate the encouragement I’ve received from many of you to run for this position. If elected, I will focus on helping the House produce the best possible legislation on the floor, and working with our Speaker and Majority Floor Leader to raise money and win elections for our caucus members. We need to use the perfection process to perfect bills, instead of relying on the Senate or passing flawed bills that get struck down or have to be fixed later.
As most of you know, I am very passionate about the issues I’ve worked on during my three years in the House. Whether fighting for ethics reform, photo ID, Blue Alert, or Hair Braiding freedom, I’ve taken on causes that I believe will be beneficial from both a policy and a political standpoint. I’ve had the opportunity to dig in deep on a variety of controversial issues, and I would bring a thoughtful and principled conservative approach to this job. However, in this role representing the entire caucus, I realize that it would be my job to reflect YOUR priorities more than my own agenda. My generous giving to HRCC and (before the mess known as Amendment 2) to many of you directly is just one example of my willingness to be a team player.
Over the next year, I look forward to visiting with caucus members individually to learn about your ideas for moving Missouri forward. As I have done throughout my time in the House, I will work to ensure that we can engage in a spirited debate on the floor, but also to disagree without being disagreeable. I will be fair and honest to every caucus member who wants to offer an amendment on the floor, because we all deserve an opportunity to improve legislation before we take a final vote on it. I will work with the rest of leadership to ensure that the bills we pass are fiscally responsible and reflective of the agenda that the voters elected us to accomplish.
I would love to have your support and I am happy to answer any questions or concerns you have.
Benjamin Peters is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine, and also produces the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined the Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield. To contact Benjamin, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.