JEFFERSON CITY, Mo – Senate Pro Tem Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles, officially offered his support for Catherine Hanaway for governor in 2016.
“People ask me and I tell them why I support her,” Dempsey said. “She is the most skilled legislator I have had the pleasure of working with during our time in the House and I think she would make a great Governor.”
Dempsey served with Hanaway when she was the Speaker of the House in the early 2000s. The two have both shared experience as General Assembly leaders. Dempsey’s endorsement marks one of the first from a sitting member of legislative leadership.
“I am so honored and privileged to have Senator Dempsey’s endorsement,” Hanaway said. “We have worked side by side in order to accomplish bold goals for the greater good of Missouri. He has been a longtime friend and fantastic leader for the people of our state. I am humbled to know that someone of his character has such faith in my ability to lead.”
Dempsey shared that he supports Hanaway not just for her competence, but for her moral compass as well.
“She is a leader, in fact, I believe she was the most powerful person in state government during her two years as Speaker,” Dempsey said. “I consider her a friend. It’s not anything against the others running – I just support her. Honestly, we wouldn’t have had our House majority without her.”
Thus far, Hanaway is the only Republican to officially announce her candidacy for governor. State Auditor Tom Schweich is rumored to be mulling a run, but is currently focusing on his unchallenged 2014 re-election bid. Attorney General Chris Koster, a Democrat, has already signaled his intentions to run for governor.
“I do think she would match up well against Koster, but mostly I’m just pro-Catherine,” Dempsey said.