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.
State Auditor Tom Schweich is in an enviable electoral position after Democrat Jay Swearingen dropped out of this year's auditor's race. Democrats do have candidates that could mount credible campaigns. But the question is whether any of them will run.
When it comes to campaign financing, one name stands out: Rex Sinquefield.
In 2013, an off year politically, the retired financier gave millions in campaign contributions — primarily to ballot initiatives and political action committees. Most of Sinquefield's money went toward an ultimately unsuccessful campaign to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of tax cut legislation. Sinquefield also gave hundreds of thousands of dollars for ballot initiatives, including one to curtail teacher tenure.
For most intents and purposes, it was all quiet on Missouri's electoral front in 2013. But that didn’t stop the money from flowing to candidates and campaigns.
Throughout last year, a diverse group of donors gave well over $21 million worth of donations of $5,000 or more. That money flowed to candidates, political party committees, ballot initiatives and political action committees in all corners of the state.
Proponents of a transportation sales tax were dealt a big blow last year when a legislative effort died at the last minute. But that doesn’t mean they’re giving up on putting a 1-cent sales tax increase before voters.
When a Board of Aldermen committee made changes to St. Louis' community development block grant recommendations, it showed the city's legislative branch asserting itself against a power shift to the executive.
But not everybody was happy -- including the agency that gave the city the funds in the first place.
When St. Louis changed how it divided out community development block grants, it marked a major sea change in how St. Louis government functions -- shifting power toward the mayor's administrative umbrella and away from individual aldermen.
Boeing CEO W. James McNerney, Jr., left, and U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-St. Elizabeth, met earlier in December in Washington, D.C. Luetkemeyer is part of a bipartisan contingent of federal lawmakers using the bully pulpit to steer Boeing's 777X to Missouri.
When U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer met with Boeing CEO James McNerney in his Washington office earlier this month, his message wasn’t subtle.
Luetkemeyer was there to make the case that Missouri was the right place to steer production of Boeing's 777X civilian aircraft. He said he told McNerney he was “excited about the opportunity for the state of Missouri to bid on it.”
“Whatever help we could be at the federal level, we would more than willing to do that,” Luetkemeyer , R-St. Elizabeth, said.