Top Republican legislative leaders have to do some hard thinking quickly in light of Governor Blunt’s decision not to run for re-election. The top Republican in the House is edging close to entering the race.
He’s not in, but House Speaker Rod Jetton (R-Marble Hill) could be after this weekend.
"I am strongly considering running," says Jetton.
Jetton says he has heard from enough supporters already to be convinced that he could raise the money necessary for a statewide campaign. He also is confident he will have the grassroots support necessary to do all the small things that make a big difference in a campaign; things such as putting up signs, knocking on doors and making telephone calls.
Other Speakers have attempted to make the jump to statewide office with poor results. Former House Speaker Steve Gaw (D-Moberly) lost to Matt Blunt, then a state representative, in the Secretary of State’s race in 2000. Former House Speaker Catherine Hanaway (R-Warson Woods) also lost a Secretary of State’s race; in 2004 to Robin Carnahan.
Jetton believes he can avoid the pitfalls that cost them statewide office. He says he has traveled the entire state and has significant support among Republican operatives throughout Missouri. He will go home to Marble Hill this weekend and talk with his wife and family about the race. Jetton estimates it would take $10 million to run a credible campaign, a campaign now shortened to a mere nine months.