Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Political Fix

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Political Fix

Article excerpt

From our online report on politics and government. STLtoday.com/ politicalfix

JEFFERSON CITY > Zimmerman is in for AG * St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman says he is running for attorney general in 2016.

Zimmerman announced his candidacy Tuesday, setting up a potential Democratic primary against state Sen. Scott Sifton of St. Louis County, who already has entered the race.

The Missouri attorney general's office will be open next year because Democratic incumbent Chris Koster is running for governor.

Zimmerman says he served as an assistant attorney general in 2002 and 2003. He later spent several years in the Missouri House representing a St. Louis County district. Zimmerman was elected as assessor in 2011 and re-elected last fall.

State Sen. Kurt Schaefer of Columbia is the only Republican in the attorney general's race. (Associated Press)

JEFFERSON CITY > English abandons Democrats * Missouri House Democrats lost another member Tuesday, bringing their total number in the House to 44.

Rep. Keith English, a union electrician from Florissant, announced he will represent his district as an independent. English was elected in 2012.

Last year, English abandoned his Democratic colleagues and sided with Republicans to enact a tax cut over Gov. Jay Nixon's veto. Republicans needed one Democrat to reach the supermajority required to override the veto, and English provided that necessary vote.

In an interview last year, he called himself a moderate Democrat.

His decision puts Democrats down another vote in a time when historic GOP majorities make their priorities difficult to obtain. Now, the Republicans control 117-44-1 with one vacancy in the House and the Senate with 25-9.

"This is no longer the Democrat Party of Bill Clinton or John F Kennedy. I'm leaving the party because I love my state," English said. "It shouldn't matter whether I'm conservative or liberal ... what is most important is that we raise the level of debate in this country through informed discussions that lead to policies that benefit all Missourians."

House Speaker John Diehl, R-Town and Country, said it was "disappointing" to see English punished by the Democrats for supporting the tax cut and that they "not only stifled his voice, but all the voices of the families and businesses in his district. …

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