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Andrew Jones launches challenge for CD 1 seat

St. Louis businessman Andrew Jones launched a bid for Missouri’s 1st congressional district this week, seeking to flip the seat held by Congresswoman Cori Bush next November

Jones, who serves as vice president of business development and marketing at Southwestern Electric Cooperative in Greenville, Illinois, previously unsuccessfully ran in the last two St. Louis mayoral elections. 

Jones said he was encouraged to pursue both offices by his family and driven by a desire to ensure opportunity for the next generation. 

“I feel a sense of duty to run for this office because we have too much to lose and our process is absolutely important to Missouri,” Jones told The Missouri Times. “I’m getting older, and I want to see my grandchildren thrive in this phenomenal country, but with the leadership we have in this region and the counterproductive things that are happening, I have to get involved to ensure that my grandchildren and other children can do well.”

Jones, a Republican, said he would focus on funding for the police and military, pointing to geospatial and military defense jobs in the St. Louis region and Boeing’s presence as a major employer in the area. 

He was quick to criticize Bush’s tenure in Congress as well. 

“Everything she talks about and everything she stands for is from an activist position. I can understand activism, but she doesn’t have any policy issues, it’s all victimhood and accusatory statements, and that can’t stand,” Jones said. “Those ideas don’t work — they don’t integrate all stakeholders into this system so that we can grow. You’re leading a region that has repercussions the world over, you can’t represent our district like that.”

Jones is a 30-year St. Louis resident who earned a bachelor’s degree from Lincoln University and advanced degrees from Washington and Webster universities. He began his career in power and energy with Ameren before moving on to Southwest Electric. 

Bush won the seat in 2020 with nearly 80 percent of the vote after defeating longtime incumbent Congressman Lacy Clay in the primary. In Congress, Bush is a member of “The Squad,” a progressive group of Democrats. She led efforts to halt the eviction moratorium, protesting its end by sleeping on the steps of the U.S. Capitol steps. 

A registered nurse, Bush is the first Black woman elected to Congress in Missouri. She is running to keep her position in 2022.