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Kinder forms exploratory committee for possible 8th District run

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 ~ Updated 2:31 PM

Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder announces Monday in Cape Girardeau an exploratory committee for a run for the 8th Congressional District in 2014. The move could set up a challenge between Kinder and U.S. Rep. Jason Smith, who won a June special election after the resignation of Jo Ann Emerson.
(Fred Lynch)
Although an official announcement of candidacy was not made by Missouri's lieutenant governor Monday, Peter Kinder did indicate a definite interest in running for the congressional seat held by U.S. Rep. Jason Smith through the formation of an exploratory committee.

The next election for the 8th Congressional District, which covers 30 counties in Southeast and Southern Missouri, is in November 2014. A declaration of candidacy by Kinder would set up a Republican primary contest for the seat, since Smith will seek re-election.

A meeting at the Cape Girardeau home of former state representative Mary Kasten on Monday including Kinder, Kasten, conservative author David Limbaugh and several others marked the start of an exploratory committee and discussion of a potential campaign, according to a news release from Kinder.

Jason Smith
At the meeting, Kinder said he is re-acquainting himself with federal campaign law, and that the reason for the committee is to forecast support of his potential candidacy.

Now in a third term as lieutenant governor, Kinder, 59, a Cape Girardeau native, has also served as a state senator and has been a major Republican contender for governor, although leading up to the last election he decided not to seek that office.

Kinder, along with committee members, also signaled Monday that a campaign for Congress could focus on his conservative record on issues such as taxes, abortion and guns.

"Our country is in deep trouble," Kinder said. "We're going to have to send our most proven candidates to fight in Washington."

Fellow Republican Smith also ran for Congress on a conservative platform from his time as a Missouri House member, which proved successful. Before a June special election, the 8th Congressional District seat belonged to Jo Ann Emerson, a moderate Republican who followed her late husband into office after his death in 1996. Emerson announced her intent to resign from Congress to take a job as CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association in December, which began a frenzy among Republican officeholders large and small to be awarded the nomination for a special election.

Smith, 33, of Salem, Mo., who was the Speaker Pro Tem of the Missouri House of Representatives, ultimately won the nomination from an 84-person committee with Kinder and former state legislator Jason Crowell tying for second place in the final round of voting. Smith then defeated the Democratic Party's nominee, state Rep. Steve Hodges, with 67 percent of the vote in the June 4 special election.

Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder announces on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013, in Cape Girardeau an exploratory committee for a run for the 8th Congressional District in 2014. Seated with Kinder are Mary Kasten, left, David Limbaugh and Trisha LaFoe. This sets up a challenge to U.S. Rep. Jason Smith who won a June special election after the resignation of Jo Ann Emerson.
(Fred Lynch)
Smith responded to the news of Kinder's committee formation Monday by emphasizing personal and political party connections.

"I cannot imagine Peter Kinder challenging any sitting Republican," Smith said. "Peter has spoken out several times recently about the importance of party unity and the Republican Party sticking together."

Smith also pointed to the risk that Kinder's success in a bid for Congress would pose to the Republican Party's hold on statewide offices -- of which there is little, considering all other statewide offices apart from lieutenant governor and auditor are held by Democrats.

"Peter knows if he left the lieutenant governor's office, Gov. Nixon would appoint a Democrat to replace him," Smith said. "Peter has been in politics for over 20 years, he knows better than to give up his office to a Democrat. Also, I have always considered Peter a friend and I supported him in his primary last year and he has supported me in past elections. Friends just don't run against friends."

Staff writer Keith Lewis contributed to this report.



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Go for it Peter, anyone but Smith.

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 5:33 AM

He can't run. Congressman Smith said, "Friends don't just run against friends."

End of story.

-- Posted by TheCamp on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 5:50 AM

Exploratory Committee sounds important but really isn't. Kind of like Lieutenant Governor.

-- Posted by workerdignity on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 6:27 AM

One of the things I have always loved about Peter kinder is his focus on the greater good. This, however, seems to be out of line for that way of thinking. Please say it ain't so LTG!!!

-- Posted by bionicrotor on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 6:41 AM

Who said they were friends? We need a rep from SOUTHEAST Missouri, not a Rolla yankee.

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 6:42 AM

Conservative on taxes Peter? Really? Supporting a tax payer funded soccer stadium in Kansas City?


-- Posted by workerdignity on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 6:42 AM

While Kinder would be a vast improvement over Smith, I can't get over the cheap political games he plays. Just last week, he was encouraging people not to sign up for healthcare coverage, a hideously irresponsible thing to do.

-- Posted by FOXTROT007 on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 6:57 AM

Another Todd Akin

-- Posted by jackson88parent on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 7:01 AM

I'll vote for you Peter, we must have experience and a person with leadership skills representing us in Washington.

-- Posted by swampeastmissouri on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 7:08 AM

I do think that Peter has the tendency to be a bit dramatic and then never go anywhere with whatever his issue is of the day. However, he works!!! He's dedicated his career to serving the state of Missouri. I think he should run. It's still quite shocking that Smith got the nod in the first place. Peter will have to answer to the big dogs with the money, but I hope he'll be able to find a balance with that.

-- Posted by wuzthinking on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 7:37 AM

Go Peter Go! You'll be great!

-- Posted by justiceforall1 on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 7:42 AM

I hope he runs.

-- Posted by bbqman on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 7:43 AM

Peter should stay out of this race. Congressman Smith is doing an excellent job. You know Cape does not always have to have the Congressman. They were very fornunate to have one for a very long time through the Emerson years. It doesn't matter where they live it is what can do. Jason Smith has the most moral and christian values of any person I have had the pleasure to meet. I think that stands for something in this race. We all know Kinder's history.

If not I challenge you to take a look at some of the articles about Peter in the last few years.

-- Posted by Tom B. on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 8:15 AM

I'm with you on this Tom B. From what I have seen, Congressman Smith is working for the District and ALL its counties. His youth and vitality can benefit our 8th District and again, our largest city in the District doesn't always have to be home to its federal representative.

-- Posted by kc135e on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 8:49 AM

Abortion and guns...here we go again. Either one of these clowns will not move this district forward. Kasten, Kinder and Limbaugh, that's quite a trio going there.

-- Posted by left turn on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 9:07 AM

Interesting that Jason Smith speaks of Democrats as if they are worthless and don't have any right to be anywhere on this earth. At least most Democrats can think for themselves and consider the opinions of their constituents. I have noticed that republicans cannot do that. They vote as they are told by their party. I personally think it is time to do away with the two party system. It is time for people to vote for the person, and that person to represent the people that elected them. Not a party. Until that happens, I will never vote for a republican again. I used to vote for the person I thought would represent my community best. Not any more. Only Democrats until I see a huge change in the way republicans work together with others. So what Democrat is going to run? That's where my vote is going. Republicans do not "work and play well with others" at this time.

-- Posted by BWM81 on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 9:22 AM

Wow...you really can't find anyone more entrenched as a career politician, can you? Interesting that all the neo-cons have forgiven him his indiscretions, but would have lynched a dem for hanging out with strippers.

-- Posted by flying-d on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 9:38 AM

Fundraising to attack a fellow conservative rather than fighting attacks on our freedom. You go Petey.

"In fact, the Senate Conservatives Fund and Heritage Action, the political arm of the once well-respected Heritage Foundation, have spent more money so far on attack ads this year against House and Senate Republicans than the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Democratic National Committee, combined. All the while, virtually every Senate Democrat up for re-election in 2014 -- all of whom were the deciding vote on Obamacare -- has been given a free pass by these groups. "


-- Posted by t partier on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 10:03 AM

Hillander you don't know what you are talking about. You need to know your facts before you start piping off about a family that you probably do not know or ever spoke with. That shows your ignorance.

-- Posted by Tom B. on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 10:16 AM

Peter should be helping spear head the poor sick to sign up for health care Peter does not want to do that that is WORK leadership he wants to get a paycheck free health care and run for something else NRA helped pass Health Care

-- Posted by falcon2412 on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 10:57 AM

Smith is not from Rolla, he is from Salem. Not right to call someone a liar for stating the truth, you are probably one of Smith's family. Why the censorhip?

-- Posted by Hillander on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 11:15 AM

Smith passed puppy mill legislation to benefit his mother's dog kennel, against the will of the Missouri voters! The SE Missourian will delete this and censor it, when it is the truth. He was one of the head of ALEC, that is a fact, why censor the painful truth, SE Missourian?

-- Posted by Hillander on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 11:17 AM

Why don't you read up about Smith's big victory for giggers on the Current River?

-- Posted by Hillander on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 11:19 AM

This is the time for Democrats to come together and bring forth a strong candidate while the Republicans argue among themselves. No, big government is not the answer, but we cannot turn away from those who cannot help themselves (children, disabled, elderly,). SEMO remains the poorest part of the state.

-- Posted by LiberalDemocrat on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 11:28 AM

This has nothing to do with doing whats right but rather whats good for Peter Kinder and his power brokers that support and control him.

Take it from a guy that has seen it up close and personal this is just more of that Good old Cape County Republican Hypocrisy!

-- Posted by J Purcell on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 11:44 AM

conserve_MY_future - who's raving? Get back to that political science professor you worship.

You're a big liberal Obama boot licker. Live with it.

-- Posted by Dug on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 12:08 PM

Well according to previous articles the Cape County Republican party will not support a candidate if it results in the Democrat governor appointing a democrat replacement.

I will not hold my breath for The Cape County Republican party to have a meeting to vote for a resolution/statement disavowing any support for Peter Kinder.

Also did you notice that the southeast missourian failed to mention in this article WHY? Peter Kinder decided to drop out of the Governors race, can any one remember pantless servers?

Here is the article that relates to the first point of my post


-- Posted by J Purcell on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 12:48 PM

policies that made this country the greatest country in the world over the course of a hundred years before the last 30 years. -- Posted by conserve_our_future on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 11:45 AM

Finally you've got something right. With the expansion of SS disability, 99 weeks of unemployment, obamaphones, endless welfare payments, food stamps, Obamacare and massive deficits (see: "Obama" the debt record holder) liberal democrats have brought our economy to it's knees.

Don't even get started on the liberal democrat "war on poverty" that has killed the African American family. They succeeded. They replaced fatherhood with government assistance.

You've ruined this country.

-- Posted by Dug on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 12:57 PM

Jason Smith seems to be concentrating his efforts on the west side of the district, where his uninformed fundamentalist base lives. No rice there. It's 97 or more percent of a certain race.

-- Posted by Hillander on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 1:09 PM

I can't make a civil argument today. The GOP, Bible in one hand and the Constitution in the other have proved again that they could care less about any of us. Shut down the entire Government but make sure your checks keep coming. Kinder is part of the problem, he cannot be the answer as well!

-- Posted by 12String on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 2:15 PM

Hope he runs. If the voters ratify the decision of the party elites, so be it; but give them their voice.

-- Posted by Courtois on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 2:25 PM

I was not enthusiastic about Smith but he seems to be doing a good job thus far.

-- Posted by mobushwhacker on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 3:16 PM

Hang in there Dug keep fighting.

-- Posted by swampeastmissouri on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 4:17 PM

Pete Kinder has done a lot for people during his political career rich, middle class and poor. I have experienced first hand if my family had problems you could call Pete and you don't get a staffer you get the man himself and he jumps right on the problem and works hard to find out the facts for you. I know people has criticized him over the years, but he is a good man and works hard at his job for all of the people and not a select few. He will tell it to you like it is and some people don't like that because some one speaks the truth but he will not mis-lead you at all and has represented the people all across this State very well in my opinion. Pete also brings a mountain of experience with him. I have nothing against the young man from Rolla don't know him but I do know Pete I have known him and his family for years all the way back to our child hood days growing up and going to school in Cape.

-- Posted by swampeastmissouri on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 5:59 PM

Kinder has done nothing be waste taxpayer monies.

-- Posted by persnickety on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 6:27 PM

Swamp, Smith is not from Rolla, he is from the small town of Salem, the county seat of Dent County. He grew up in a modest home in the middle of town, his father was a small engine mechanic, his mother worked in a factory until she started the puppy kennel. He studied very hard earning degrees, came back to Salem to "practice law" and found a situation that allowed him to become a State Representative. He was then picked in that special process at the Landing in Van Buren. That's about it, he has very little experience in real life, he simply managed to become a state representative and is easily led around by his contributors that put him on a leash, like a little pup. He's still an overgrown kid. I don't believe him to have harmful intentions, but is unaware of the consequences and has yet to develop the wisdom of a conscience that comes with age and maturity. I'll vote for Kinder!

-- Posted by Hillander on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 6:42 PM

-- Posted by conserve_our_future on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 5:16 PM

Birchers? Koch brothers?

Again - you left out "Rush" and racism. You're slipping with your talking points and that'll cost you membership in your liberal club.

-- Posted by Dug on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 6:45 PM

What kind of person, politician or otherwise would tell someone not to check into an insurance exchange that may help them? Even Blunt told people to sign up.

-- Posted by left turn on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 6:52 PM

Interesting. Let them fight it out, I say.

-- Posted by grandma73 on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 9:27 PM

Anyone with brains had to know that the so called "selection committee" that picked a 31 year old, who never had a job (does the name Obama strike a familiar note?) other than politician, would have a terrible time getting reelected. The voters had no say. Smith is taking his orders from the party chiefs, which is expected from a freshman congressman. But, Kinder has vast political experience and I believe he will quickly become a leader, instead of a follower. Finally, I LOVED the comment by Flying-D, "Interesting that all the neo-cons have forgiven him his indiscretions, but would have lynched a dem for hanging out with strippers." Are you kidding??? Infidelity among democrats is viewed by the liberal media as an attribute. If Peter would have been lynched, Clinton and many more too numerous to list, should have been burned at the stake. Good grief.

-- Posted by JungleJim on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 10:48 PM

You mean people in Cape are still kissing the ring of Mary Kasten?

-- Posted by Tom"killer"Kowalski on Tue, Oct 1, 2013, at 11:23 PM

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