ST. LOUIS — Rep. Casey Guernsey, R-Bethany, announced Friday that he intends to run for Senate District 12 in 2014.
With a fully-stocked campaign team, Guernsey is the only one who publicly has stated his intent to pursue senior Sen. Brad Lager’s seat in the coming cycle.
Among Guernsey’s campaign crew includes Axiom Strategies’ Jeff Roe, David Barklage and Robert Knodell, former House Speaker Steve Tilley and Dave Hageman. Guernsey said the team will be beneficial for the significant fundraising that has to be done.
“I’m a huge advocate of rural Missouri, and so those issues are going to be a big thing for me,” Guernsey said. “I’m from a small town, so rural areas and agriculture are my passions. They’re all significant interests for this part of the state and I’ve been engaged in a lot of them, so it’s a natural transition for me, I think, to pursue Senate.”
On the campaign finance front, Guernsey put $100,000 in his campaign account Thursday .
“I’m a big believer that if I’m going to ask other people — friends, family, neighbors — to invest, I should put my money in it as well,” he said.
Guernsey’s intent to run was rumored during session, along with Rep. Mike Thomson, who recently said he isn’t sure that a Senate run is in his future.
“Senate has been out there and I’ve given it a lot of thought but probably will not make a bid for that,” he said. “But, I’m keeping an open mind.”
Guernsey said he isn’t aware of any opposition within the Republican Party at this time for the seat.
Between his current House district and the previous one before redistricting, Guernsey said he has represented about half of the total Senate district, which spans the greater part of northwestern Missouri.
“I think that my working in politics in the past 10 years has really be great in northwest Missouri in the Senate district,” he said. “I had the opportunity to get to know a lot of the people and a lot of the counties and their issues.”
Hitting the campaign trail is the next step — accompanied with significant fundraising efforts — which he said he’s looking forward to.
Ashley Jost is no longer with The Missouri Times. She worked as the executive editor for several months, and a reporter before that.