ST. LOUIS — Another Ashcroft has entered politics in Missouri.
John Ashcroft was a two-term governor, a U.S. senator and U.S. attorney general under President George W. Bush. Now, his 41-year-old son, Jay, is seeking the Republican nomination for a state Senate seat representing St. Louis County in a three-way race on Aug. 5.
It won't be easy. Even if Ashcroft wins the primary, the district leans Democratic and state Rep. Jill Schupp, a Creve Coeur Democrat, promises a well-funded race in November. Schupp has no primary opposition.
Ashcroft told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that some supporters urged him to move to a more Republican district, but he wanted to stay.
Ashcroft is John Ashcroft's middle child, and essentially grew up in the Governor's Mansion in Jefferson City, calling it home from age 11 to 19. He became an engineer, community college teacher and lawyer, and announced his intention to run for the open state Senate seat in the 24th District in March.
He has big-name support in his bid for the state Senate, including Auditor Tom Schweich and five members of Congress.
"I was looking at the potential people that were running for the seat and felt like I had a better view of the role of government, and that's why I jumped in," Ashcroft said.
The other two Republicans in the race, attorney Jack Spooner and physician Robb Hicks, argue that they're more in tune with the district.
Spooner, 53, said he is "part of the fabric of the community" rather than a "professional politician."
Hicks, 54, originally from California, said he could work on health care issues without having Ashcroft's ties to "the government establishment."