What’s next for the senior legislators and their seats

  

Senate

Sen. Jolie Justus
Sen. Jolie Justus


Sen. Jolie Justus, 
D-Audrain County

On future plans:

The Senator couldn’t be reached before print deadline to answer this question.

Potential candidates for her seat:

Two representatives have expressed interest in Justus’ seat: Democrat Ed Schieffer, a senior, and Republican Jeanie Riddle, a junior.

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Sen. Brad Lager
Sen. Brad Lager

Sen. Brad Lager, R-Nodaway County

On future plans:

Lager said he plans to go back into the private sector, which he came out of, when he is done in the Senate.

“I’m privileged to serve the 12 years I will ultimately serve, but I’m also excited to go back,” he said. “I’m an entrepreneur at heart.”

Additionally, Lager said he plans to take advantage of the hectic but fun time in his family’s household with his wife, 6-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son.

“It’ll be great to get back into being completely involved in what they’re doing because that’s what life is all about,” he said.

Potential candidates for his seat:

“I’m hearing three names: Mike Thomson, Casey Guernsey and T.J. Berry,” Lager said.

To his knowledge, Lager said all of them are still deciding final plans, and he said he has had conversations with all of them about the importance of understanding the amount of sacrifice that would go into the position, including a hefty amount of traveling because of the district size.

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Sen. Ryan McKenna
Sen. Ryan McKenna

Sen. Ryan McKenna, D-Jefferson County

On future plans:

McKenna, like many of his legislative comrades who have been around for… a while, isn’t quite sure what’s next.

“I have a lot of different things in mind like running for county executive in Jefferson County, circuit clerk, state auditor, I could stay here full time for my second job or I could do something all together different,” McKenna said, adding that he isn’t a planner and he likes it that way. “I don’t stress about what’s going to happen. That’s kind of how my life has worked out so far and it’s been great.”

McKenna’s second job is in public relations and marketing for Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust of eastern Missouri, which he said allows him to use a different side of the brain from the political side. For LECET, he does trade magazine designs and advertisements.

Potential candidates for his seat:

Two candidates have come forward for McKenna’s seat so far, and those are the only people he said has contacted him. Democrat Rep. Jeff Roorda and Republican Rep. Paul Wieland are the two vying for his spot.

“It could possibly be the most expensive Senate race ever,” McKenna said about his district, which is represented by both representatives from both sides of the aisle, making it extra competitive. “The only other big thing on the ballot is auditor really, or at least those are the two elections that are in the St. Louis market and have a lot of money involved.”

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Sen. Scott Rupp
Sen. Scott Rupp

Sen. Scott Rupp, R-St. Charles County

On future plans:

Keeping his options open, Rupp said he is considering running for county-level office — being urged by some to consider a few different positions — as well as opportunities in the private sector.

“I really want to finish up this last session and probably start making bigger decisions then,” he said. “It’s nice knowing that soon I’ll have an open slate though for whatever is next.”

On the family front, Rupp said he is looking forward to being able to attend more softball and Boy Scout functions, and potentially even coach one of his sons basketball teams again.

Potential candidates for his seat:

Rupp said he hasn’t heard of any other candidates for his seat other than the three Republicans who already have been vocal about running: Rep. Chuck Gatschenberger, Bob Onder and Vicki Schneider.

So far, he hasn’t heard if there is a Democrat thinking about running, but he said since redistricting, his district has become more conservative based off of the voting outcome during 2012.

House

Rep. Stanley Cox
Rep. Stanley Cox

Rep. Stanley Cox, R-Sedalia

On future plans:

Cox said when the time comes to exit the House, he has a few options, like most of his peers. Among those include pursuing local office.

“If nothing else, I’ll return to practicing law,” he said. “I’ve continued to do it when we’re not in session and way before that.”

On a more personal front, Cox said he will continue to spend as much time with family as he has strived for while in office.

Potential candidates for his seat:

So far, there are no set names of people interested in Cox’s House seat. He said several people have approached him, all of which he called qualified candidates.

“I feel an obligation for there to be qualified candidates to represent my district,” he added, emphasizing that there likely will be more than one in the running from the Republican side.

While no Democrat has publicly announced interest in his seat, Cox said he assumes a previous opponent of his, Phyllis Domann, might come forward again. Domann lost to Cox during 2012 by about 3,000 votes, or roughly 25 percent of the votes.

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Rep. Doug Funderburk
Rep. Doug Funderburk

Rep. Doug Funderburk, R-St. Peters

On future plans:

After 31 years at Boeing, Funderburk said he hopes to continue his job as an electrician for the company, and he will “probably wait a few years” and run for Sen. Tom Dempsey’s seat representing a portion of St. Charles County. He said he anticipates a large primary for that seat, listing about four other representatives he would expect to see run, too.

Until 2016 when Dempsey term limits out, Funderburk said he hopes he can get back to being a husband and a father. And maybe, before that time, he will take the chance to train a puppy to become a bird dog — another past-time passion.

Potential candidates for his seat:

It’s been about a year and a half since Funderburk last heard there was interest in his seat.

“The most recent person was Ron Hicks,” he said, laughing. “After redistricting he was able to run in a different district.”

Otherwise, Funderburk said he hasn’t heard from anyone since redistricting. He did say that as far as potential Democrats, the state party encouraged people to let him term limit out rather than run against him during the final election, so he’s not sure what backing might be next for his opposing party down the road in his area.

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Rep. Jeff Grisamore
Rep. Jeff Grisamore

Rep. Jeff Grisamore, R-Lee’s Summit

On future plans:

For Grisamore, what he does next will hopefully, he said, be what he did before he entered the legislature seven years ago: working with non-profit organizations.

In 2006, Grisamore said he only accepted the Republican nomination because of an agreement that it would help him further work on caring for vulnerable populations. After 2014, he said he hopes to advocate for the same populations on a statewide, national and international level, looking at policy development that “incorporates fiscally conservative and free market solutions” for funding and services.

Additionally, he said the private re-engaging in the private sector is another interest.

“Public service, serving constituents and helping those in need has been great, but it is a huge financial sacrifice with a large family when you don’t have the financial backstops enjoyed by many of my colleagues,” he said.

Potential candidates for his seat:

So far, Grisamore said he has heard of several Republican candidates interested in his seat including his former treasurer, Rebecca Roeber, Justin Kalwei, assistant prosecutor in Clay County, Chris Heckadon, Roger Davenport and former state Sen. Bob Johnson.

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Rep. Steve Hodges
Rep. Steve Hodges

Rep. Steve Hodges, D-East Prairie

On future plans:

After a recent run for Congress in Missouri’s 8th District, Hodges said he’s ready to enjoy his last year in the House, first and foremost. After, he said his number one option right now is considering a run for Circuit Clerk in Mississippi County — a position he said he’s been asked to pursue. Potentially, thought not sure yet, there could also be another county position for him to think about.

“There may be some other possibilities I just don’t know about yet,” he said. “But you know, everything is dependent on your health and family situations.”

With both parents in their late eighties, Hodges said he likes the idea of being home and a two-minute drive away from them.

Potential candidates for his seat:

Hodges said he feels a lot of responsibility to find someone who can represent his district — “not just a particular town, but the whole district.”

So far, he’s received a few calls, though no one has out right declared solid interest. One call, he said, was asking if his wife would consider a run. He said he would support this possibility because of his wife’s knowledge and passion. Furthermore, the house they built together and have lived in for almost 40 years was redistricted a half of a mile away from Hodges’ current district, making a run from Mrs. Hodges less likely.

“I’ve got a couple people in my mind but I haven’t had conversations with them yet,” he said. “I want who ever comes after me to be better than I am and can represent this district the right way.”

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House Speaker Tim Jones
House Speaker Tim Jones

Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka

On future plans:

Primary among Jones’ plans for post-2014 is a run for attorney general, though he said he doesn’t want to limit his options since there will be almost a two-year gap before the statewide positions are up for election in 2016.

“I also have a lot of potential opportunities beyond the political,” Jones said.

With about 15 years of experience as a lawyer and as a prosecuting attorney, stepping full force back into the legal world is another possibility. During session and even the interim, he said there hasn’t been enough time to do a lot of the legal work, but that he has been able to share the load with a lot of his partners.

“I’ve gotten quite extensively into radio, which happened sort of by accident,” Jones added. “I really enjoy it. If someone offered me a slot, I would have to consider it. The path right before me is continuing elected service.”

Potential candidates for his seat:

Almost every name being heard for Jones’ House district currently is a rumor, he said. He’s heard there are people wanting to set meetings with him, but has yet to be contacted.

The one thing Jones said he is sure about is that his district is a safe Republican seat.

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Rep. Jeff Roorda
Rep. Jeff Roorda

Rep. Jeff Roorda, D-Barnhart

On future plans:

“I plan on being the next Senator for the 22nd District,” Roorda said about what’s next after he term limits out of the House.

He said the Democratic primary is clear of any “viable contender,” leaving it a battle between Roorda and junior Republican Rep. Paul Wieland. The seat, currently held by Democrat Sen. Ryan McKenna, has seen a quite a few Democrat Senators in the last few decades, including Bill McKenna and Gov. Jay Nixon. Roorda said all of them have encouraged him to run, with the McKennas endorsing him.

“This is a strong Democrat district and I have a weak opponent,” Roorda said. “Unless there’s a Republican wave bigger than 2010, I expect to be the next Senator.”

Additionally, he said he hopes to continue working for the St. Louis Police Officers Association for as long as they will have him around.

Potential candidates for his seat:

While he said he’s talking with several people, there haven’t been any finalized discussions.

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Rep. Dwight Scharnhorst
Rep. Dwight Scharnhorst

Rep. Dwight Scharnhorst, R-High Ridge

On future plans:

Until 2016, Scharnhorst said he plans to rebuild his photography business that he has lost about 40 percent of in terms of revenue during the last seven years.

But all the while, he said he plans to prepare for a Senate run in 2016 for Sen. Eric Schmitt’s seat. Scharnhorst said that unless Schmitt leaves early, he intends to campaign until it’s time.

The only other open opponent to Scharnhorst is House Budget Director Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood, who Scharnhorst said is a good friend.

“I’ve also heard rumors I might be offered an appointment,” he said. “Down the road that might be something I would think about.”

Scharnhorst is the senior-most representative still in the body as he was brought in the House a year before everyone else in his class in a special election.

Scharnhorst has advocated for special health needs, with a personal emphasis to children with autism in honor of his late grandson. This past session, Scharnhorst passed Bryce’s Law and down the road, he said he hopes to set up a foundation to help fund the efforts backed by Bryce’s law.

Potential candidates for his seat:

While he said he has yet to hear about a Democrat eyeing his seat, there is at least one Republican — though he said there could be a few more — who has announced interest: his wife, Rea. Rea has been Scharnhorst’s Chief of Staff the last seven years, which they both have said gives her the institutional knowledge for the position.

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Rep. Ed Schieffer
Rep. Ed Schieffer

Rep. Ed Schieffer, D-Troy

On future plans:

Like Roorda, Schieffer is planning for a Senate run in 2014.

“I’m planning to be the next senator for the 10th District,” he said.

The seat Schieffer is vying for currently is occupied by senior Democrat Sen. Jolie Justus.  And as of right, now the only forthright opposition is junior Republican Rep. Jeanie Riddle, which Schieffer expects will be the case the whole way through, with neither candidate facing a primary.

“We both want it to be clean,” Schieffer said about the race. “Republicans have turned up the heat and made it a personal attack for the Democrats, but we aren’t going to do personal attacks on each other. Now, we can’t control what people above us, independent from us do, though I wish that wasn’t how it is.”

Schieffer said when push comes to shove, he and his opponent have been in office long enough for constituents to know their voting record.

Whether or not he’s elected to the Senate, he said spending time with his 7-year-old grandson would be a priority as well.

Potential candidates for his seat:

After he’s gone, Schieffer said he hopes to have his replacement be Dan Dildine, a Democrat lawyer from Troy.

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Rep. Rick Stream
Rep. Rick Stream

Rep. Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood

On future plans:

Stream is another candidate vying for Sen. Eric Schmitt’s seat in 2016 when it becomes available. But, in the meantime, he said he is going to need to work on finding a job.

Prior to being in office, Stream worked for the Department of Defense, from which he had to retire early and cannot go back to as the position no longer exists.

“I’ve been talking to some folks in and around Kirkwood, but it’s a bad job market right now so not many people are hiring,” he said. “I plan to try and work for a couple of years, or maybe longer if I decide not to run.”

Stream said since a lot of things could happen or change in the next few years leading up to a potential Senate race, including more people throwing their hat in the ring, he is making sure to keep an open mind.

Potential candidates for his seat:

One candidate has publicly announced interest in Stream’s seat — Deb Lavender, a three-time Democrat opponent of Stream’s who has already started campaigning in preparation for 2014.

From the other side of the aisle, Stream said there are “a number of folks” who have expressed interest, but no names ready to be released quite yet. He did say he expects a Republican primary and potentially a Democrat primary as well.

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Rep. Mike Thomson
Rep. Mike Thomson

Rep. Mike Thomson, R-Maryville

On future plans:

Like several of his colleagues, Thomson isn’t sure what’s next.

“This is looking toward possibly my third retirement,” he joked, listing the other two as two different portions of the education realm.

As Thomson’s district is within senior Sen. Brad Lager’s district, Thomson’s name has been thrown around a lot in the discussion for a 2014 bid for office.

“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.”

Thomson, a major education advocate, said there is at least one big issue he hopes to help see through this year: the performance-based funding formula for higher education: an effort spearheaded by Sen. David Pearce.

“Other than that, I don’t have a lot of other things I feel like I have to get done,” he said. “I have found that if you get married to any issue or bill, you see a lot of disappointment, so I have tried to avoid that a little bit.”

He said it feels like it was two weeks ago when his fellow seniors were riding the bus during the freshmen tour. Seven years later and he said he wouldn’t take a million dollars in exchange for his experiences.

Potential candidates for his seat:

Thomson said he has a candidate for his district that is still discussing the prospects with family before making the announcement that will hopefully come in the next few weeks.