Amid their hunt for a bunch of statewide candidates, Missouri Democrats now have at least one well-known contender for secretary of state: former KMOV reporter Robin Smith.
Smith, who just retired from her 40-year TV career, announced Sunday that she plans to run for the statewide post — which will be open in the 2016 election because Democratic incumbent Jason Kander for running for the U.S. Senate.
Two well-known Republicans already have declared their candidacies: state Sen. Will Kraus of Lee’s Summit, and St. Louis lawyer Jay Ashcroft, son of former governor, former senator and U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft.
Smith comes from a prominent political family. Her brother, Wayman Smith III, is a former St. Louis alderman and retired Anheuser-Busch executive. Her father, Wayman Smith Jr., also had been an alderman and was the first African American in Missouri to become a certified public accountant.
Still, Robin Smith is promising to be “a public servant who checks their politics at the door. That has been my life's work and my training. I look forward to giving Missourians straightforward, professional service as their secretary of state."
Missouri’s secretary of state is its chief elections official, while also overseeing various other parts of state government. The secretary of state oversees the state library, handles the registration of business and polices the state’s securities industry.
Robin Smith said in her announcement that she'll file the proper documents with the state this week. She added that she also plans to spend time “traveling to every corner of the state to earn the trust of Missouri voters, sometimes assisted in campaigning by her husband.”
Her husband, Isaac "Bud" Stallworth, is a former NBA player for the Seattle Supersonics and the New Orleans Jazz.
But Smith also will need to raise money. The latest campaign reports showed Kraus with a sizable $505, 748 in the bank. Ashcroft reported $60,642 in the bank.
Ashcroft took note of Smith’s entry into the contest. “I welcome Robin Smith into the race and look forward to a clear contrast of our vision for the office,” he said.