Saint Louis, Mo. — Former state representative Vicki Englund confirmed months of rumors today when she formally announced her candidacy for state senate in the 1st district.
Englund has long been whispered as the best Democratic candidate for a seat that is far from solidly in either camp. Sen. Scott Sifton, a Democrat, currently holds the seat, which he won in a close race against Republican Jim Lembke. Sifton is set to run for Attorney General in 2016, vacating the seat after a single term.
The district encompasses a significant portion of South St. Louis County. Englund, who served two terms in the House, has also served two terms on the Lindbergh School Board, which is in the district as well. Englund said that, for the time being, she wanted to emphasize bringing “sanity” back to the Missouri legislature.
“We’ve just had a turbulent session,” Englund said. “There was disastrous legislation in Right-to-Work, a leadership scandal. I think bringing a little sanity back to Jefferson City would be a good thing.”
Englund cited the recent school transfer legislation vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon as an attempt, but not a successful one, to solve a problem.
“The problem still exists. We still have transfer students with a very unclear direction as to how they will get an education,” Englund said. “It’s difficult for receiving districts because there isn’t a consistent process in place to make sure those students are being paid for by the sending districts. [The bill] was an attempt to solve a problem but it was an incomplete solution. We still need a clean transfer bill.”
Englund is the only Democrat so far to announce, and if she remains unchallenged, she’ll likely be facing the only declared Republican, Rep. Marsha Haefner. Haefner announced earlier this month and, like Englund, is likely to run a very personal campaign emphasizing local roots.
“I feel comfortable saying I was born and raised in this district,” Englund said.
For now, Englund will be focused on fundraising and what she called “coalition building.”
Englund will hold an event to kick-off her campaign on August 6 at the Firehouse Bar and Grill in South County. Englund has hired Mike Pridmore as her chief fundraiser and Rob Frosch to handle finance.
Collin Reischman was the Managing Editor for The Missouri Times, and a graduate of Webster University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.