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Rowden sticking with state Senate over congressional bid

  

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Majority Floor Leader Caleb Rowden is staying put. 

After teasing an announcement about his “next chapter” on social media, the SD 19 Republican said Monday he plans to continue his work in the Missouri Legislature as opposed to mounting a congressional bid in the 4th district. Since Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler announced her U.S. Senate candidacy, Rowden had been considered to be a possible candidate for her seat. 

“Over the next three years, my mission and calling is simple: We will elect commonsense conservatives to the Missouri Senate and we will deliver meaningful, real-world policy wins for the people we serve,” Rowden said. “The Missouri Senate is not a place for show horses whose only interest is advancing their personal agenda or political career. Our chamber is meant to be the deliberative body that carefully considers the big picture for the good of our state.” 

“We cannot fail in this calling, and I don’t plan to,” Rowden said. 

Rowden has represented Boone and Cooper counties in the upper chamber since 2017. Prior to that, he served in the House. In an open letter, Rowden pointed to the Second Amendment Preservation Act, the ESA bill, and legislation meant to curtail abortion in the state as accomplishments during his tenure in the Senate. 

Rowden owns a media marketing company in Columbia and is a former Christian singer. Along with his wife, he is the parent of three children, including a newborn. 

In his announcement, Rowden castigated the Biden administration over the withdrawal of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, the crisis at the southern border, and the economy. 

“President Biden and those around him have chosen a path of extreme liberalism. This administration had a chance to bring people together and instead has chosen to hand the reins of governance over to coastal elites and progressives who don’t think Missourians’ voices should be as loud as their own,” Rowden said. 

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.