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Jeff Roorda, lifted by labor money, undertook another political comeback in Jefferson County | Politics

GOP candidates of the 22nd Senate District

The 22nd Senate District candidates in the Republican primary on Aug. 2, 2022 are Reps. Mary Elizabeth Coleman, Rep. Dan Shaul, Rep. Shane Roden, and former Rep. Jeff Roorda.

JEFFERSON CITY – Jeff Roorda, the lightning rod business manager for St. Louis Police Officers Association, is once again trying to return to politics in Jefferson County – this time as a Republican.

The former Democrat is getting help in his quest to represent the 22nd Senate District: Last week, trade unions directed more than $ 100,000 to the JEFF PAC, a political action committee that supports Roorda.

To win the primary on Aug. 2, Roorda must defeat three current state lawmakers who are also vying for the nomination: state representatives Mary Elizabeth Coleman, who won the support of the Senate’s self-styled Conservative Caucus; Dan Shaul, who fought in the caucus against redistricting this year; and Shane Roden, who followed three other fundraising candidates.

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Since this is a four-way contest, the winner can finally get the Republican nomination by winning less than the majority of votes. The GOP nominee will face Democrat Benjamin Hagin of Barnhart in the Nov. general election. 8, in an increasingly Republican county.

Roorda, for his part, does not hide his connection to organized labor, a constituency formerly associated with Democrats.

In Jefferson County, 78% of voters shot to a GOP-backed “right-to-work” law, opposed by unions, in 2018.

“I’m going to be a pro-working families senator,” said Roorda, of Arnold. “Trade unions are getting a bad name from some people, but what they’re really doing is coming together to fight for better wages and better working conditions.”

Pat White, president of St. The Louis Labor Council, which named Roorda on its list of endorsements for the Aug. 2 primary, said Roorda never doubted his support for labor during his eight years in the House as a Democrat.

“He has a stellar union voting record,” White said.

Roorda, 57, was identified with protesters of racial injustice and others during and after the Ferguson protests following the police shooting of Michael Brown Jr. there in 2014. He wore a “I’m Darren Wilson” wristband to a meeting of a proposed civilian oversight board, showing solidarity with the police officer who killed Brown. He wrote “Ferghanistan: The War on Police,” which featured exclusive, sympathetic interviews with Wilson.

Senate District 22

Si St. Louis Mayor Tishaura O. Jones and her predecessor, Lyda Krewson, both called on the association of police officers to fire Roorda.

Roorda last won a House election in 2012. Since then, he has lost three elections as a Democrat in Jefferson County: in 2014 to now-outgoing Sen. Paul Wieland of the state in the state Senate career, in 2016 in a career for county council, and in the career for county executive two years later.

At the time, most voters removed Democrats from the Jefferson County Courthouse. Republican President Donald Trump won 66% of the vote in Jefferson County in 2020.

“The Democrat Party … has become more awake, mad, socialist,” said James Harris, a GOP consultant working for Roorda. “Jeff probably just regrets not being a Republican, you know, years ago.”

Support the union

The St. The Louis Police Officers Association PAC, the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 655 political fund, the Missouri and Kansas Laborers PAC, and the MSCEW PAC, funded by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, sent large checks to Roorda’s PAC, added until at more than $ 50,000 on Wednesday.

The Mid-America Carpenters Regional Council MO-KS Area PAC donated $ 50,000 to JEFF PAC on Wednesday, according to state ethics commission records.

But how the six -figure support from the union’s brass translates into actual votes for Roorda from union members and supporters is unclear.

“The unions said‘ support Biden, ’but a lot of … people in the labor union didn’t vote for Biden,” said Alan Leaderbrand, president of the Jefferson County Republican Club.

In a sign that labor issues remain powerful in Jefferson County, Shaul, who voted for the “right-to-work” measure, called the issue “dead.” Coleman, who was first elected in 2018 after the bill was passed, said he then supported it.

Coleman, 40, of Arnold, said last week that he had no desire to debate the issue again.

Roden, 39, of Cedar Hill, voted against the labor proposal as a Republican state legislator and said his stance showed he would stand up for his constituents.

“I told the union members, when I knocked on their doors, you know, that I would represent them as they wanted,” he said.

Rex money, Conservative Caucus

Another career factor: Rex Sinquefield, the retired financier and political megadonor.

Sinquefield on Friday donated $ 25,000 to Coleman’s Conservative Solutions for the Missouri PAC, bringing his total career investment to $ 50,000.

Coleman’s PAC also received $ 20,000 in large contributions from 100 PACs, which are allies in the Senate’s self-styled Conservative Caucus.

The faction of Republican men has repeatedly clashed with other Republicans this year, especially when the group killed a redistricting plan for the state’s eight congressional districts promoted by Shaul.

“When voters look at our records, they’ll see that I’m the most conservative and the one fighting for the issues that matter most to Jefferson Countians,” Coleman said.

Coleman downplayed any possible membership in the Conservative Caucus if he wins, but the 100 PAC said on its website that all the candidates it supports have pledged to join the faction.

Shaul, 53, of Imperial, suggested Roorda and Coleman – as well as Roden, who has been known to fight other lawmakers on the House floor on various issues – would add to the dysfunction that has emerged in the Senate.

“I’m not sure that any of my three opponents will help bring people together,” Shaul said. “They’ve been divisive, and I think they’re probably going to split even more in the Senate.”

When asked what sets him apart from the other candidates, Shaul said, “I think it’s experience, I think it’s proven leadership, proven conservatism,” contending he was the best fit for the district ideologically.

Shaul said members of the Conservative Caucus this year killed opportunities for the state “because some people decided to read books or read song lyrics on the Senate floor.”

Roorda said he will help the Senate work again.

“I’m very independent, but I don’t like what happened to the 100 PAC-backed senators who shut down the Senate and shut down our state,” Roorda said.

“Here is my perspective on this career. And I don’t really consider Shane Roden a serious candidate, ”Roorda said. “But I will add a function to the state Senate, Mary Elizabeth will add dysfunction and Dan Shaul will add nothing.”

“I’ve been a more productive and responsible legislator than either” Roorda or Coleman, Shaul said. “I don’t know how someone on an island, who can’t decide what party he is, will give up office in the Senate.”

Coleman said, “I understand that there’s a tendency to hit other people when you’re running against them, but I don’t think that’s what voters want.”


New reports covering the April through June fundraising quarter are due to ethics officials on Friday.

By March, the most recent quarter for which numbers were available, Shaul reported $ 56,000 on hand going into the spring. His JeffCo Vision PAC in April reported limited fundraising activity.

In January, the PAC reported $ 76,000 on hand.

Coleman last reported $ 82,000 in his campaign account. His Conservative Solutions PAC had approximately $ 15,000 as of Dec. 31 and reported limited activity in April.

The PAC has since reported $ 95,000 in large checks: $ 50,000 from Sinquefield, $ 20,000 from 100 PAC, and $ 25,000 from the Mo Coalition for Video Lottery PAC.

Roorda had nearly $ 140,000 on hand in April; he lent his campaign $ 130,000 at the time, records show.

Roden held less than $ 3,500 at the end of the last quarter of fundraising.

Posted at 8 am Monday, July 11th.

If this county is an indication, Missouri voters do not fit into easy categories

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