St. Louis Public Radio News
5:46 pm
Mon August 31, 2009

State Rep. Storch expresses interest in vacant Senate seat

St. Louis – Democratic State Representative Rachel Storch has officially announced she'd like to move over to the state Senate.

Storch, along with state House colleagues T.D. El-Amin and Jamilah Nasheed, and a committeeman from the 28th Ward, Joe Keaveny, are interested in the Senate seat vacated last week by Jeff Smith, who resigned after pleading guilty to two federal obstruction of justice charges.

Missouri law does not allow for a primary to narrow the field for the November special election. The four are instead campaigning for the attention of committeemen and women like Keaveny in the wards that make up the 4th Senate District who will pick the eventual candidate. But it still makes sense for an up-and-coming politician like Storch to make it clear she would like to be considered, said University of Missouri-St. Louis political science professor David Robertson.

"A lot of people have talked about her as a potential Secretary of State if Robin Carnahan were to be elected to the United State Senate," Robertson said. "That kind of candidate can get a lot of traction by announcing and beginning to build coalition across those committees."

But Robertson said Storch does not automatically become the front-runner.

"A couple of African-American members of the Missouri House of Representatives who will get a lot of support in their wards and nearby wards," he said.

The reliably Democratic district covers the western half of the city of St. Louis.