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Caleb Jones makes decision on congressional bid

Caleb Jones already represents about 6,000 Missouri families as the executive director and CEO of the Association of Missouri Electric Co-ops. And it’s because of his focus on those families, as well as his own, that he has decided to forgo a congressional bid. 

On Sunday’s episode of “This Week in Missouri Politics,” Jones ended much speculation that he would jump into the ring for open 4th congressional district seat. He said he’s focused on his family and his job with the association (AMEC). 

Jones represented a mid-Missouri district in the statehouse for several years before he left to become the deputy chief of staff to a former governor. In January 2018, he joined AMEC as its vice president and was promoted to CEO one year later. Jones has also worked in the U.S. Department of Agriculture and for former Congressman Kenny Hulshof. 

Jones is the second Caleb to decide against a CD 4 bid this week: Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden said he would stick with the General Assembly Monday, ending speculation he might mount an effort to represent Missouri in Washington, D.C. 

“Right now, I get to serve 6,000 families across rural Missouri by representing them and trying to help make rural Missouri a better place to live, work, and raise a family,” Jones told The Missouri Times. “ Even though I haven’t been elected in four years, I still feel like I’m in public service working for rural Missouri.” 

“I think it’s important that whatever you do in life, you are able to prioritize and focus, and right now, I’m focused on the future of the rural electric co-ops and spending time with my children and wife,” he added. 

Jones was The Missouri Times’ 2019 Statesman of the Year

Former Kansas City-area news anchor Mark Alford, farmer Kalena Bruce, Rep. Sara Walsh, and veteran Taylor Burks are all vying for the GOP nomination in the 4th congressional district. Sen. Rick Brattin has also said he is considering a run for the seat. 

Missouri’s 4th congressional district — as it stands now — is a large and diverse expanse of the state, from Columbia sweeping west to just below Kansas City, stretching down to Pittsburg and Lebanon, and settling north of Springfield. It includes both Whiteman Air Force Base in Johnson County and Fort Leonard Wood in Pulaski County. 

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, who has represented the 4th congressional district since 2011, is running for U.S. Senate. 

Catch the full episode of “This Week in Missouri Politics” with Jones and Missouri Farm Bureau President Garrett Hawkins Sunday.