Another Koster in the News

By Pollack, Joe | St. Louis Journalism Review, December 2007 | Go to article overview

Another Koster in the News


Pollack, Joe, St. Louis Journalism Review


When the late Rich Koster was covering the Football Cardinals for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat back in the 1960s, it didn't seem to faze him when a locker room filled with large players became angry over something he wrote about the team.

Today, his son, Chris, is facing an entire state of angry Missouri Republicans, but it doesn't seem to faze him, either.

Koster, 43, was born and reared in St. Louis. He has been a prosecutor and is now a trial lawyer and Republican state senator from western Missouri. Recently he took a large step, one that will change his relationships, his activities-and his future as well. He left the Republican Party and joined the Democratic Party, whose symbol will be on the ballot when he runs in the primary for state attorney general next year.

His father traveled with the Big Red in the 1960s, and there were many Saturday night political and social arguments over dinners with him and the late Robert Morrison, who covered the team for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The elder Koster was close to Pat Buchanan, who was an editorial writer for the Globe-Democrat, and they became such friends that each served as the other's best man. Buchanan has not commented to Chris Koster on the party change.

Still, as former Post reporter Terry Ganey pointed out in a story about Chris Koster for Ganey's new home base, the Columbia (Mo.) Tribune, Koster is of mixed political bloodlines. Bob Koster, his uncle, was a member of Tom Eagleton's staff when Eagleton, a Democrat, was circuit attorney in St. Louis. Chris Koster also is close to Democrats like Chuck Hatfield, a Jefferson City lawyer who was chief counsel to Attorney General Jay Nixon, the Democrat Koster hopes to succeed.

Koster's decision to switch parties is decried by some Republicans as merely a sign of political expediency, hoping to ride Democratic Party successes next year. …

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