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Missouri State Sen. Bob Onder On Special Session Rockiness And The Future Of The Conservative Caucus

Sen. Bob Onder holds an end of session press conference with other members of the Senate Conservative Caucus on May 17, 2019.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo I St. Louis Public Radio
Sen. Bob Onder holds an end-of-session press conference with other members of the Senate Conservative Caucus in May 2019.

State Sen. Bob Onder returns to Politically Speaking to talk to St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jaclyn Driscoll about the stalled special session on violent crime and the future of the Conservative Caucus in the Missouri Legislature.

Onder has represented the 2nd Senate District since 2015. The district covers the western part of St. Charles County, including Lake Saint Louis, O’Fallon and Wentzville.

Here’s what Onder talked about on the program:

  • Gov. Mike Parson’s special session on violent crime, which has slowed down considerably after the House decided to split some of the items into separate bills. He also provided his reaction to the House changing the age when some juveniles can be certified as adults to 16 from 14 as originally proposed.
  • His support for what’s known as “concurrent jurisdiction,” which would allow the attorney general to intervene in St. Louis homicide cases under certain circumstances. That move has been strongly opposed by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, as well as the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys.
  • His amendment that would have allowed the governor to remove the circuit attorney under certain circumstances. That measure, which did not pass, received negative social media attention from supporters of Gardner.
  • What the lay of the land in the Senate could be with at least two new members joining the Conservative Caucus after this month’s primary, and two closely watched Senate races in St. Louis and Boone counties.

Onder, a doctor and an attorney, first burst onto the political scene in 2006 when he was elected to the Missouri House. His tenure in that chamber was brief, because he left to make an unsuccessful bid in 2008 for the U.S. House in the now-defunct 9th Congressional District.

Onder chose to make a comeback in 2014 by running for the 2nd District Senate seat. He easily won the expensive contest and was reelected in 2018 over Democrat Patrice Billings.

Onder will be term-limited out of the Senate after 2022. He could run for three more terms in the Missouri House, but said he would consider running for Congress, statewide office or a St. Charles County-based office if an opportunity presented itself.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Jacyln Driscoll: @DriscollNPR

Follow Bob Onder: @BobOnderMO

Music: “Shimmer” by Fuel

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Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.
Jaclyn is the Jefferson City statehouse reporter for St. Louis Public Radio.

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