As we told you about briefly this morning, Republican Missouri House Speaker Steven Tilley has officially announced his candidacy for Lt. Governor.
Tilley, an optometrist from Perryville, has been a State Representative since 2005, and spent four years as Majority Floor Leader before becoming Speaker. He says his experience as a lawmaker is a big asset, as the Lt. Governor serves as the official head of the Missouri Senate.
"A big portion of the Senate is filled with former House members that either I've served with or helped get to the Senate," Tilley said. "And I've tried to work hard to have good relationships with not just Republicans, but Democrats as well."
Despite several years as a top House Republican, Tilley admits that name recognition might be an issue in some parts of the state.
"Most Missouri citizens are focused on their jobs, supporting their family, making sure their kids get a good education, and so, yeah, I've got a lot of work to do to get my name out there," Tilley said. "I'm known well in certain areas of the state, maybe not so well in others, and that's a challenge and I look forward to that challenge."
Tilley has so far raised more than $1 million in his bid to become Lt. Governor, more than 370,000 of it after this year's legislative session ended. So far, there are no other big-name contenders for the state's number two job. The incumbent, fellow Republican Peter Kinder, is expected to challenge Democrat Jay Nixon for Governor, but has made no formal announcement yet.