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Bondon announces run for House seat, Molendorp decides against running again

ST. LOUIS — Jack Bondon Jr., a Republican from Belton, Mo., filed his committee for the 56th House District Wednesday morning.

Bondon, 32, is the Vice President of Berbiglia Wine and Spirits, a company that was involved in the “liquor war” issue during the past session.

Rep. Chris Molendorp, who currently occupies the 56th District seat, confirmed with The Missouri Times that he doesn’t intend to seek reelection.

“I just think I’ve had my chance to serve and I’m ready to move on to something else,” he said Wednesday morning. “I am with Jack.”

Jack Bondon, Jr.
Jack Bondon, Jr.

Why run for office? Bondon said the concern of what the next generation — including his 9-month-old daughter —will be left with is a major factor.

“I want to make sure we’re doing whatever it takes to make sure they had it as good as we had it, and I want to make sure my voice is heard,” he said.

Two big issues for him right now include supporting the override of the tax bill veto, which he said he would do if he were in office today, as well as promoting small government.

“You’ve seen me and my family fight unnecessary regulations in the state for the liquor wars,” he said. “I believe government is best when it’s small and when it’s as local as possible, and when the projects we pursue are necessary and effective.”

For Bondon, running for office is a family affair as he said that if elected his wife and 9-month-old daughter likely would join him during the week in Jefferson City. Keeping together the family unit is important to him, he said, and he doesn’t want to miss a moment as his daughter grows up.

Looking ahead toward the race, Bondon said the biggest challenge will be keeping a thick skin during whatever criticism comes from media or opponents as this is his first run for office.

“Developing a thick skin will be important for me and my wife,” he said. “But the best thing is I have an incredibly supportive family and my wife is 100 percent behind me.”

Jordan Overstreet, Executive Director of the House Democratic Victory Committee, said there are a few names being discussed in the district as potential candidates, but no names will be released until any candidate has filed and is ready to announce.