We put together a list of politicians who are frequently mentioned, sometimes by themselves, as future statewide candidates. The list doesn’t include some obvious candidates such as St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson who has indicated she is interested in a statewide race, or those like Rep. Jack Bondon who has a very competitive Senate race to win but if successful, will be a fixture on this list soon after.
The Bench | Democrats
#1 (D) Senate Minority Leader John Rizzo
Senator Rizzo has all the make up of the type of leaders that gave Missouri Democrats a stranglehold on statewide offices from 1992-2016. He can fundraise, win in competitive districts, and appeal to union workers in the suburbs that used to elect people like Jay Nixon and Claire McCaskill. If he chooses to run for statewide office in 2024, he will likely be able to pick his shot.
Contributions this quarter: $23,110
Cash on hand: $173,049
PAC: Truth in Campaigns
Cash on hand: $79,791
#2 (D) House Minority Leader Crystal Quade
The only Missouri Democratic politician that might be ahead of Senator Rizzo in that line would be his counterpart in the house, Rep. Crystal Quade. She has brought some life into the House Democratic Caucus and is one person who could be a bridge between the labor and suburban Democrats who used to win elections, and the new, more socialists Democrats who live in the cities. If she is able to gain seats in 2020, the buzz will only get louder.
Contributions this quarter: $17,010
Cash on hand: $48,080
PAC: Crystal PAC
Cash on hand: $5,725
#3 (D) State Senator Brian Williams
Senator Williams is probably the most talented politician currently in the Missouri Democratic Party and would be higher on this list if many didn’t see him as a natural successor to the legendary Congressman Lacy Clay. Only in his second year in office, the more of the state that gets to see him at work, the more pull he will face to become the first African-American ever elected to statewide office in Missouri.
Contributions this quarter: $3,860
Cash on hand: $147,303
#4 (D) State Senator Scott Sifton
In another era of Missouri politics, Senator Sifton would already be in a statewide office vying for a run for Governor. Some have compared his time in Missouri politics to Congressman Gephardt’s time in national politics. He was lucky to avoid the Clinton blowout in 2016 of Missouri Democrats and now leaves the Senate with over $300,000 in his accounts. It seems more likely than not that he remerges in statewide politics in a more competitive era for Democrats in Missouri.
Contributions this quarter: $1,059
Cash on hand: $337,703
PAC: Show Me Leadership PAC
Cash on hand: $25,153
#5 (D) Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas
Mayor Lucas is off to one of the best starts of any politician in a major office in the state. He has a platform that will allow his resume to grow and the ability to fundraise more successfully than anyone on this list. He has all the ability to run statewide — the only question will be if he has the interest.
Contributions this quarter: $23,975
Cash on hand: $131,897
#6 (D) Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker
The Jackson County Prosecutor has been long rumored to be considering an Attorney General run. She seems unlikely to consider another statewide post. However, in her current role as head of the Missouri Democratic Party, she now has the chance to make the connections around the state to match her fundraising ability which are the two ingredients needed for a run.
Contributions this quarter: $7,680
Cash on hand: $114,259
#7 (D) Rep. Tracy McCreery
Most anticipate a run for state Senate is next on the career path of Rep. McCreery, but she would be a top recruit to run for statewide office. She has the ability to appeal to city liberals, suburban moderates, and be the type of Democrat that could run well above her contemporaries in rural Missouri. Unless she is in Congress, most see her on a statewide ballot at some point.
Contributions this quarter: $468
Cash on hand: $124,049
#8 (D) Rep. Peter Merideth
Rep. Merideth has carved out a role as a thought leader among Missouri Democrats. He has a growing social media following and a growing number of progressives throughout the state that look to him as an intellectual leader. And no one cares more or works harder at his job in the House than him. Without redistricting changing the map for him, he may look to turn that enthusiasm into a run for higher office.
Contributions this quarter: $4,258
Cash on hand: $22,772
#9 (D) Alderman Jack Coatar
Alderman Coatar is a name some outside of St. Louis may not be aware of, but if he ever turns his eyes west, he will be an instant star in Missouri politics. Most see a run for mayor as more likely, but he has more than enough talent to make a splash in the state Capitol if he so chooses.
Contributions this quarter: $38,702
Cash on hand: $80,988
PAC: JACK PAC
Cash on hand: $153
#10 (D) Columbia Mayor Brian Treece
In the past few weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Treece has started to set himself apart as someone mentioned for state Senate in 2024 to someone who is mentioned as a top statewide recruit. He was handily re-elected in Columbia and has a statewide network of contacts with a lot of friends in labor. The buzz surrounding the mayor was always positive; in the last few weeks, it’s reaching another level.
Contributions this quarter: $0
Cash on hand: $34,396
Scott Faughn is the publisher of The Missouri Times, owner of the Clayton Times in Clayton, Mo; SEMO Times in Poplar Bluff, Mo.; and host of the only statewide political television show, This Week in Missouri Politics.