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.
Look for the Democrats’ list tomorrow.
The Bench | REPUBLICANS
#1 (R) Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden
Senator Rowden is the most naturally talented politician on the Republican bench right now. If he wins re-election he will have won four very difficult races in Boone County, and speculation will start on election night 2020 which statewide office he chooses to run for in 2024.
Contributions this quarter: $6,900
Cash on hand: $190,398
PAC: Missouri Forward
Cash on hand: $461,612
#2 (R) State Senator Lincoln Hough
Senator Hough is on a tremendous roll right now in his freshman session in the Senate. His track record of winning very tough swing districts and fundraising success give him several options to seek higher office going forward.
Contributions this quarter: $6,100
Cash on hand: $165,557
PAC: Lincoln PAC
Cash on hand: $44,225
#3 (R) House Speaker Elijah Haahr
The current House Speaker would likely be higher on our list but for the fact that he is leaving office this year. However, he will have ample opportunities to come back into politics. The truth is, that the class of House members who were elected in 2012 probably deserve a break from politics. It would be nearly a century since a class of freshmen has seen as many historic issues as his, from Speaker and Governors resigning to a global pandemic. He deserves a couple years off. Contributions this quarter: $20,600
Cash on hand: $302,479
PAC: Bold PAC
Cash on Hand: $133,382
#4 (R) State Representative David Gregory
Rep. Gregory has been on a statewide track since his election in 2016. He is the best fundraiser of anyone in the House not in leadership and has a background in accounting and a law degree. He has options to pursue the State Auditor or Attorney General offices.
Contributions this quarter: $11,500
Cash on hand: $37,222
PAC: Show Me Growth
Cash on Hand: $133,382
#5 (R) State Senator Bob Onder
Senator Onder has made it known that he is interested in a statewide run pretty clear this year with considering a Lt. Governor bid. However, he has two more years in the Senate to raise money and build on his strong pro-life record. He has the ability to put together more money perhaps faster than anyone else on this list, and most will seek to avoid him in a statewide primary.
Contributions this quarter: $2,775
Cash on hand: $199,857
#6 (R) State Representative Mary Elizabeth Coleman
There is little question who is the top choice of Republicans and those in the business community who could help reach women voters, and Rep. Coleman has the ability to do much more than that. There is little doubt she will be recruited for a higher office, and the fact that she is unopposed in one of the most competitive House districts in the state speaks to her political skill and will give her the 2020 cycle to acclimate herself to the state. The proof of her value to the state party is clear as she has been asked to speak on behalf of the governor several times in just her first term in the House.
Contributions this quarter: $1,720
Cash on hand: $25,429
PAC: Conservative Solutions for Missouri
Cash on Hand: $1,858
#7 (R) State Senator Bill Eigel
The senator who is the leader of the Conservative Caucus in the Senate has broadened his profile and would start as the conservative darling in most statewide races. He has completed his statewide profile with his relationship with World Wide Technology head David Steward and just this cycle has proved his fundraising chops could muster a statewide war chest. He does have a minor primary opponent but not significant enough of one not to include him on this list. He has also put some miles on his vehicle recently: traveling the state, attending fundraisers, and making friends that could be useful to him once his Senate career comes to an end.
Contributions this quarter: $15,291
Cash on hand: $159,278
PAC: Believe in Life and Liberty (BILL)
Cash on hand: $408,216
#8 (R) State Senator Tony Luetkemeyer
Senator Luetkemeyer has a resume and a pedigree that seems directly on track to become the successor to current Attorney General Eric Schmitt. He has managed to pass a couple of key pieces of legislation that has bolstered his resume, but more importantly, he has done so without making major enemies. Kind of reminds you of a former tall state senator, who some felt would become AG, Eric Schmitt himself.
Contributions this quarter: $26,600
Cash on hand: $309,877
PAC: Tony PAC
Cash on hand: $25,142
#9 (R) Dr. Jon Patterson
The successor to now Senator Cierpiot has been very successful in his freshman term, and his profile as a doctor is more valuable than ever. If he continues on his current trajectory he may be asked to skip House leadership and launch a statewide run.
Contributions this quarter: $1,300
Cash on hand: $93,793
PAC: Missouri Alliance PAC
Cash on hand: $134,905
#10 (R) House Majority Leader Rob Vescovo
After a term of President Trump and statewide leaders like Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe, Missouri Republicans might be in search of someone with a different background from the successful business leader type. Also, his age and experience in the gig economy might appeal to a younger group of voters.
Contributions this election: $15,863
Cash on hand: $138,789
PAC: Mighty Missouri PAC
Cash on Hand: $159,078
Scott Faughn is the publisher of The Missouri Times, owner of the Clayton Times in Clayton; SEMO Times in Poplar Bluff; and host of the only statewide political television show, This Week in Missouri Politics.