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Who has applied for Missouri’s new, nonpartisan state demographer position?


Missouri is soliciting candidates to take on the task of drawing the state’s legislative districts following the 2020 census — and multiple candidates have already submitted applications. 

The job requires a degree in demography, geography, statistics, economics, sociology, urban planning, anthropology, epidemiology, or actuarial science, along with professional experience. Anyone who has served in a partisan, elected position within four years of applying is not eligible. 

In early September, the State Auditor’s Office began accepting applications for the nonpartisan state demographer — a position created by the so-called Clean Missouri Amendment, which passed in November 2018. The window to apply is open until Dec. 4. 

The State Auditor’s Office will not conduct interviews of applicants. The auditor expects to submit the names of applicants to the Senate majority and minority leaders in January 2020. 

Here’s a look at who has applied so far. 

Jason J. Ross

Jason Ross is the first to apply for the position and the only one to submit a completed application. A retired Air Force veteran, Ross is an assistant professor of aerospace studies at Air Force ROTC Detachment 440 in Columbia. 

He is also a defense contractor with Golden Key Group, LLC.

A product of Jefferson City High School, Ross holds degrees in education, geography, and military operational arts and sciences. 

He has previously applied to work for the state three other times: director of administration support in 2017, State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) deputy director in 2019, and chief of staff for the Department of Higher Education in 2019.

Aschalew Dubale

Aschalew Dubale submitted an incomplete application on Sept. 20.

According to his submitted resume, Dubale has degrees in statistics, demography and population studies, and accounting and financial management. Dubale attended DeVry University as well as two colleges in Ethiopia, according to the resume. 

Habtamu Gagado Tera

Habtamu Gagado Tera, 34, submitted a cover letter, letters of recommendation, and diplomas but did not turn in a completed application on Sept. 24. Tera’s submitted information stems from his time in Ethiopia, where he is from. 

He has degrees in economics and urban land development and management.