Jason Smith | St. Louis Public Radio

Jason Smith

Jonathan Ahl | St. Louis Public Radio

Eric Meusch, who farms 240 acres just outside Rolla, didn’t have health insurance for seven years until he recently got another job.

“We signed up for a plan under the Affordable Care Act right when it was passed. But two years later, we couldn’t afford the premiums,” Meusch said, speaking to U.S. Rep. Jason Smith, R-Salem, on the porch of his home last week.

U.S. Sen.  Joni Ernst speaks on Saturday, March 2, 2019, at Lincoln Days in Maryland Heights.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri doesn’t have a U.S. Senate race next year, which means Republicans will focus on retaining their statewide offices. But U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt has an idea for GOP stalwarts suffering from Senate withdrawal.

Right before she spoke at Saturday’s Lincoln Days banquet in St. Louis County, Blunt quipped that “we’re just going to make the Iowa Senate race to re-elect Joni Ernst the Missouri Senate race.”

Gov. Mike Parson speaks to attendees of Lincoln Days on March 2, 2019, in Maryland Heights.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Republicans used their annual Lincoln Days celebration to bask in their statewide dominance: gearing up for an election cycle where the party is playing defense, as opposed to trying to knock off Democratic incumbents.

Republicans hold all but one statewide office and commanding majorities in the Missouri General Assembly. But some attendees noted that nearly absolute power over statewide government means absolute blame if Republicans fail to deliver.

U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-University City, speaks at a congressional forum hosted by the League of Women Voters at Christ Church Cathedral in July of 2016.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Places that were crucial to the civil rights movement in the mid-20th century are starting to deteriorate, U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay says, which is one of the main reasons why he’s pushing to preserve them.

Clay’s other angle: He has Republican support, including U.S. Rep. Jason Smith of Salem, Mo. The two are co-sponsors of a bill that passed the U.S. House on Wednesday that would establish the African-American Civil Rights Network.

Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Jason Kander speaks at a labor rally in St. Charles earlier this fall. Kander is squaring off against U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt this November.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

It’s a dreary, rainy day in Troy, Missouri, and Jason Kander is about to meet a small group of veterans at the Roasted Bean Coffee Shop. In a weird, parallel universe, the 35-year-old Democrat would be stumping for his second term as secretary of state. But Kander’s aiming higher and is focusing his time and energy on trying to unseat U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt.

Few national pundits believed Kander’s gambit would be worthwhile. They looked at presidential results and polls, and concluded (wrongly) Missouri was just too Republican for a Democrat to prevail. But Kander never bought into that type of assumptive prognostication. And now, Kander is within striking distance of being a building block for his party’s return to power in the U.S. Senate.

Jason Smith
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On this week’s edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbuam and Rachel Lippmann are pleased to welcome U.S. Rep. Jason Smith to the show for the first time.

The Republican lawmaker was elected to represent Missouri’s 8th Congressional District in 2013 in a special election. The 8th District encompasses a swath of southeast and south central Missouri, as well as portions of the St. Louis metropolitan area like Jefferson County and all of Ste. Genevieve County.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, right, listens to U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton's speech at Lincoln Days.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

GOP presidential aspirant Donald Trump has promised that there will be so much winning if he’s elected that Americans will get bored of winning. But Frieda Keough isn’t sure that sentiment will carry the day in the Show Me State.

Jo Mannies/St. Louis Public Radio

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The Missouri Republican Party has endorsed the proposed “Right To Farm” constitutional amendment set for the November ballot.

The official support is aimed, in part, at promoting GOP ties to the proposal, which some Republicans believe will boost turnout by rural conservative voters this fall – and that could help all GOP candidates.

Courtesy of Jason Smith's campaign.

Updated 3:40 p.m. Jan. 7:

Missouri opponents of the National Blueways System – a designation granted to the White River and its watershed in Missouri and Arkansas – praised its demise on Monday. Federal officials had announced the news over the weekend.

U.S. Rep. Jason Smith, R-Salem, was among the critics who said that the riverways designation threatened property rights and could lead to “land grabs.”

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder issued a statement Friday afternoon announcing that he is dropping plans to run next year for the 8th congressional district seat now held by fellow Republican Jason Smith.

Kinder’s decision marks at least the third time when he’s publicly declared plans to run for office and then backed off.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Within Missouri’s congressional delegation, few members are closer than U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin, and U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.

Wagner, who chaired Blunt’s Senate campaign in 2010, often confers with him since she joined Congress earlier this year, said her spokesman, Patrick Howell.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: In the midst of the congressional battle that led to the federal government shutdown, Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder has announced that he’s likely to challenge a fellow Republican -- U.S. Rep. Jason Smith, R-Salem -- next year.

Kinder, from Cape Girardeau, didn’t mention Smith but instead referred to “out-of-touch Washington elites” as he declared that he has signed the federal paperwork to set up an exploratory committee – a move that will allow the three-term lieutenant governor to raise campaign money.

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio.

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio’s Chris McDaniel joins the St. Louis Beacon’s Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum to talk about the week’s politics.

On this week's episode: a "feisty" Governor Jay Nixon vetoes two pieces of legislation, and we discuss the chances of an override. Then we turn to the Eighth district to sum up the recently concluded election, and what the future holds for newly-elected Congressman Jason Smith.

Mapped: How Did Jason Smith Win Tuesday's Special Election?

Jun 5, 2013
Courtesy of Jason Smith's campaign.

Reporting by KRCU's Jacob McCleland contributed to this piece.

Republican Jason Smith easily won a special election on Tuesday to fill Jo Ann Emerson’s vacant seat in the US House of Representatives.

It was a strong night for Smith, as the 32-year old Missouri House speaker pro tem cruised past Democratic rival Steve Hodges 67 percent to 27 percent.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – Wasting no time after being elected to represent the 8th congressional district in southeastern Missouri, new U.S. Rep. Jason Smith flew to Washington on Wednesday and was sworn in as a member of Congress less than 18 hours after his victory.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Republican Jason Smith won a decisive victory Tuesday in Missouri’s 8th District congressional contest, handily defeating Democrat Steve Hodges, a fellow state legislator.

Speaker Pro Tem Jason Smith, R-Salem, speaks with fellow Republican legislators on the final day of the General Assembly's 2013 session. Smith - the GOP nominee in the 8th Congressional District - received a standing ovation then, including from Democrats
Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: In some respects, the preliminary jockeying to replace U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson may have been more exciting than the actual election.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Just days before the election, the St. Louis region’s major energy and defense companies – Peabody Energy and Boeing Co. – are jumping into the 8th District congressional contest, with last-minute donations to Republican Jason Smith.

Peabody’s political action committee gave $5,000 to Smith, while senior vice president Fred Palmer donated $2,600, both within the last 10 days. Both sums were the maximum allowed under federal contribution limits.

Congressional Candidates Go On The Offensive In Debate

May 29, 2013

Candidates for Missouri’s Eighth Congressional seat went on the offensive in a debate Tuesday night at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus in Cape Girardeau. The debate comes one week before a special election on June 4.

Democrat Steve Hodges and Republican Jason Smith were joined onstage by the Constitution Party’s Doug Enyart and Libertarian Bill Slantz.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 18, 2013 - State Rep. Steve Hodges was a February surprise for southeast Missouri Democrats.

Before then, the East Prairie Democrat wasn’t considered a prospective candidate for the 8th congressional district seat. Soon after former U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Cape Girardeau, announced her intention to resign to lead the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Hodges told reporters he wasn’t interested in the June 4 contest to succeed her in Congress. State Rep. Linda Black, D-Desloge, became the presumptive Democratic frontrunner.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 15, 2013 - As Missouri Republicans gathered in the Gateway City for their annual Lincoln Days celebration, many of the party faithful are hoping to rebound from an unfulfilling election.

Although the GOP now holds huge majorities in the state House and Senate, its candidates lost four of the five statewide posts on November ballots.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 13, 2013 - The race for the U.S. Eighth Congressional District received a bit of a jolt Wednesday with the entry of state Rep. Steve Hodges into the Democratic fray.

And on Thursday, state Rep. Linda Black announced that she would no longer seek the Democratic nomination for the southeast Missouri-based seat. 

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 28, 2013 - It may be ancient history by now, but it wasn’t too long ago that the Missouri political world was bracing for a high-level game of musical chairs.

That’s because then-U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Wildwood, had made what turned out to be a career-ending gaffe about rape and pregnancy. GOP political figures from across the country implored Akin to step aside, prompting speculation about potential replacements and their political consequences.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to legislation that would require special elections to fill vacancies in statewide offices.

If passed, House Bill 110 would only allow the Governor to appoint a temporary placeholder who would not be eligible to run in the special election.  House Speaker Pro-tem Jason Smith (R, Salem), the bill’s sponsor, says it’s not a deliberate swipe at Democratic Governor Jay Nixon.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 18, 2013 - CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. –  It was standing-room-only Thursday night for the second and, so far, last forum for the crowd of candidates seeking the Republican nomination for the soon-to-be-vacant congressional seat in Missouri’s 8th District.

The 12 participants all expressed similarly staunch views about cutting federal spending, reducing regulations, curbing the growth of the federal food stamp program and protecting gun rights.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Legislation to require special elections in Missouri to fill vacancies in statewide offices has cleared another hurdle.

The bill today easily passed the House Rules Committee and is expected to be debated on the floor of the House next week.  If passed, House Bill 110 would only allow the governor to appoint a temporary placeholder if a statewide office is vacated, and that person would be ineligible to run in the special election to fill the vacancy.  State Representative Jeff Roorda (D, Barnhart) sits on the Rules Committee and cast one of the few “no” votes.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 15, 2013 - Legislation significantly altering the way statewide vacancies would be filled appears to be on the fast track in the Missouri House.

The House Elections Committee on Tuesday approved House Speaker Pro Tem Jason Smith’s legislation to curb the governor's power to fill any vacancies in other statewide offices.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

A Missouri House committee has overwhelmingly passed legislation that would require special elections to fill vacancies in statewide offices.

House Bill 110 would require special elections if the office of Lt. Governor or any other statewide office is suddenly vacated.  It would allow the Governor to only appoint a placeholder who would temporarily fill the office but not be eligible to run in the special election.  It’s sponsored by House Speaker Pro-tem Jason Smith (R, Salem).

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Aside from Medicaid expansion, the most talked-about issue so far during the just-begun Missouri legislative session is whether Governor Jay Nixon (D) has the authority to appoint a new Lt. Governor if Peter Kinder succeeds fellow Republican Jo Ann Emerson in Congress.

Following his annual Prayer Breakfast earlier today, Governor Nixon told reporters he believes he has the authority to appoint a new Lt. Governor if the office suddenly becomes vacant.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 10, 2013 - Jason Crowell, who officially stepped down Wednesday as Missouri’s  27th District state senator, has swiftly pivoted to add his name to the growing list of Republicans seeking to succeed U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Cape Girardeau.

Most of the crowd of candidates – numbering at least 17, according to an unofficial count – were gathering Thursday night in Salem, Mo., for the first of two major forums. A second forum is slated for Jan. 17 in Cape Girardeau.