JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Jean Peters Baker, Jackson County prosecutor and former state representative, has been chosen to lead the Missouri Democratic Party for the next term.
Following Stephen Webber as chair, Baker announced her candidacy for the role in late November.
“As political cycles seem to shorten, the party needs to quickly begin the work of designing strategies and recruiting candidates up and down the ballot for 2020,” Baker wrote in her announcement. “I will bring my political experience (twice elected Prosecutor and former State Representative), fundraising capability and proven leadership to this race for Chair.
“I am a Missourian, born and raised in rural Osage County before attending Columbia College as an undergraduate, Mizzou for a Master’s in Public Administration and Missouri-Kansas City for law school. I was hired by Claire McCaskill in the Jackson County Prosecutor’s office, but served for over twenty years in that office. In 2010, I was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives serving with distinction before being appointed County Prosecutor to fill an unexpired term.
“I’m known as a fair but progressive leader both as an attorney and as a Democrat. Serving as State Party Chair will be a strong step toward advancing the Democratic platform and building the resources needed to compete in all corners of Missouri. I have deep ties to rural communities, proven urban leadership, the willingness to find consensus and the strength to do what will be necessary to get Democrats winning elections again. It can be done.”
Baker has been a rising star in the Democratic Party over the last decade, proving herself as a public servant with a winning record.
Baker replaces former state Representative Stephen Webber as chair, who wrote to Party supporters on Thursday about the accomplishments he was proud to witness. Under his leadership, the Party did not lose any seats in the state legislature or from the statewide congressional representation, but did have a loss in U.S. Senator
“As I end my cycle as Chair of the Democratic Party, I want to thank all of you for the opportunity to serve you,” Webber wrote. “In the past two years, I’ve had the honor and privilege of traveling the state to work with all of you. My team and I visited nearly every county in Missouri – giving speeches, conducting trainings, and meeting with Democratic Clubs and candidates.
“It’s truly been an honor to lead the Party of Mel Carnahan & Harry Truman. I thank you all for joining the fight against injustice and discrimination. While I’ll end my time as Chair of the Missouri Democratic Party this Saturday, I know I’ll see y’all again.”
Rachael Herndon was the editor at The Missouri Times and also produced This Week in Missouri Politics, published Missouri Times Magazine, and co-hosted the #MoLeg podcast. She joined The Missouri Times in 2014, returning to political reporting after working as a campaign and legislative staffer.
Rachael studied at the University of Missouri – Columbia. She lives in Jefferson City with her husband, Brandon, and their two children.