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Ashcroft jumps into open contest for Missouri secretary of state

Jay Ashcroft
Provided by campaign

St. Louis lawyer Jay Ashcroft has declared his 2016 bid for Missouri secretary of state, becoming the first of what’s expected to be a deluge of contenders since Secretary of State Jason Kander is running for the U.S. Senate instead.

Ashcroft is a Republican from St. Louis County, and the son of former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, who’s also a former governor and U.S. senator.

Jay Ashcroft lost his first bid for public office last fall when he made an unsuccessful run against Democrat Jill Schupp for the state Senate.

Ashcroft said in a statement Thursday that his campaign for secretary of state will focus on fair elections and “a pro-jobs agenda.”

“After prayerful consideration, I have decided that my experience as an attorney and engineer makes me uniquely qualified to serve Missouri as our next secretary of state,” Ashcroft said.

“Missouri is desperately in need of leaders who will fight for our state’s common sense conservative values. I will work to protect the integrity of our elections while ensuring the office’s business functions are streamlined to allow Missouri employers  to focus on what they do best: creating businesses and  jobs.”

Kander, a Democrat, had announced earlier today that he’s not seeking re-election because he plans to challenge U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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