Crowell could be eyeing statewide office in 2014

Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Sen. Jason Crowell

Jason Crowell will be forced out of office by term limits next year, but the Missouri state senator from Cape Girardeau may have his sights set for statewide office in 2014 or perhaps even earlier.

Crowell, a Republican, has changed his campaign committee paperwork to Missourians for Crowell to reflect a bid for an unspecified statewide office. The report, filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission, lists the election date as the Aug. 5, 2014 primary. The only statewide office that could have a primary that date would be state auditor, a position currently held by Crowell's fellow Republican and lawyer Tom Schweich.

In an emailed response, Crowell did not rule out any possibility for his political future, but said that his focus right now is on his upcoming marriage in October.

"At this time, we have made no concrete decision as to any office we may or may not seek in 2012 or 2014," Crowell wrote. "As I approach term limits in the Missouri Senate, I have been humbled by the common sense conservative citizens of Missouri who have encouraged me to keep all options open in the future and at this point that's exactly what we're doing."

Crowell concluded his email this way: "If or when a concrete decision is made on an office we may or may not seek in 2012 or 2014, we will announce such."

Cape Girardeau resident Carol Sparkman, treasurer of Missourians for Crowell, said she was "not at liberty to say" what Crowell's political plans are without contacting him first.

An April quarterly report showed that Missourians for Crowell collected $13,300 in monetary contributions for the filing period and had $9,150 cash on hand. On June 30, however, he collected a $10,000 contribution from Noranda Inc., which has a facility in New Madrid, Mo.

Will Miller, an assistant professor in Southeast Missouri State University's political science department, said he never expected Crowell to fade from public life next year, but he was surprised to learn Crowell was considering statewide office.

"If he's thinking 2012, he's hitting the tail end of when he really wants to get out there and get going," Miller said. "Not having the name recognition, and even the surefire backing of his own party, he'd have a lot of work to do. From what I've read and what I've heard, he doesn't seem like the Republicans' No. 1 guy."

Crowell, 39, is finishing his second term in the state's 27th senatorial district, which consists of Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Madison, Mississippi, Perry and Scott counties. Crowell began his legislative career in 2000, when he was elected to the Missouri House. He was re-elected in 2002 and elected as Majority Floor Leader.

Rep. Ellen Brandom, R-Sikeston, has already announced her intentions to run for Crowell's senate seat next year.

Staff writer Melissa Miller contributed to this report.

smoyers@semissourian.com

388-3642

Pertinent address:

Jefferson City, Mo.

Map of pertinent addresses

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