Wes Shoemyer was content to ride off into the political sunset.
The former Democratic state senator lost his re-election bid decisively in 2010. Afterward he told people in Jefferson City that he had a great “consolation prize” – going back to his farm near Monroe County.
But Shoemyer is leaping back into the fray to fight an amendment making it more difficult to regulate agriculture. And he’s taking on familiar adversaries – some the state’s largest agricultural organizations.
Advocates for partly legalizing the growing and use of marijuana in Missouri have gotten the go-ahead to circulate 13 different initiative petitions in the state.
But that doesn’t mean any of the proposals will be on this fall’s ballot.
On Wednesday, the Missouri secretary of state's office said it had approved all 13 initiatives for circulation. Nearly 158,000 signatures from registered voters will be needed to put any of the proposed constitutional amendments on the ballot.
The Missouri House has approved legislation aimed at increasing the transparency of initiative petitions that bypass the Legislature to put proposed laws or constitutional amendments on statewide ballots.
Sponsors of the petitions must gather signatures from registered voters for their proposal to qualify for the ballot.
Effective immediately, the Secretary of State’s office will begin posting initiative petitions to its website before the summary language is written. Kander has also authorized 5-day comment periods that will begin the same day the initiative petitions are posted.
Agricultural interests are being highlighted in the Missouri Secretary of State’s race this week.
Republican nominee Shane Schoeller is conducting a “Farm Values Tour” across the state, in which he’s reviving memories of the recent battle over dog breeding regulations. He says his Democratic opponent, Jason Kander, would follow in Robin Carnahan’s footsteps in writing ballot summaries that could greatly harm farmers who also breed dogs.