Jay Ashcroft isn't exactly a stranger to the political process. After all, his father ran for -- and, numerous times, won -- congressional and statewide offices during his lengthy tenure in Missouri politics.
But the son of former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft admitted he was a bit nervous waiting to see if he emerged victorious in a three-way GOP primary for a St. Louis County-based state Senate seat. He said his "stomach was in knots" until he found out he had won.
"It was really humbling," said Ashcroft in a telephone interview.
Jay Ashcroft’s life is steeped in politics, even if he’s never run for political office before.
That may help explain why the son of a Republican icon is already airing TV ads for a state Senate contest that, on paper, leans Democratic.
Ashcroft is among three Republicans competing in the Aug. 5 primary for the right to challenge the sole Democrat, state Rep. Jill Schupp of Creve Coeur, in the fall. Also running is Libertarian Jim Higgins.
Any doubts about the political stakes for St. Louis County’s open 24th District state Senate seat should be squelched in the next few weeks, as many of the state’s biggest political players – politicians and donors -- are jumping in on behalf of their parties’ favored contenders in this fall's election.
The bipartisan crowd also signals that the district, which takes in much of mid-county from Creve Coeur to Chesterfield, is deemed now to be politically swing turf up for grabs.
The Missouri Senate and Missouri House have both passed bills to ban sales of electronic nicotine delivery devices to minors.
House Bill 1690 and Senate Bill 841 would both limit the sales of these devices, sometimes called e-cigarettes, to consumers 18 years old and older, and both versions would not subject the devices to regulation or taxation as tobacco products.
While Jay Ashcroft, the son of former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, was always interested in politics, he also said he didn’t consider it “the highest calling.”
“My highest calling in life is to be a good husband to my wife and to be a good father for my kids," said the attorney and engineer from unincorporated St. Louis County. “In the last couple of years when I’ve seen how government has been working at the state level and unfortunately not always working, I kept coming around to the conclusion that I need to be part of the solution.”
The Missouri House has given first-round approval to next year's state budget -- after spending most of Tuesday on amendments to the FY 2015 budget, including two attempts to expand Medicaid. Both failed, and both were sponsored by state Rep. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur.
House budget writers have passed Missouri's state budget for Fiscal Year 2015, which begins July 1.
The roughly $28 billion spending plan still includes a funding increase for the state's K-12 schools, which would be around $122 million if projections by House and Senate Republican leaders turn out to be correct. If Gov. Jay Nixon's rosier revenue picture turns out to be correct, then K-12 spending would increase by $278 million.