Jefferson City Leadership and Saint Louis
The leadership teams that both parties will have during the next two years in Jefferson City have been announced. It is striking — not necessarily bad, but striking — that for the 21 leadership positions chosen in both houses by both parties, exactly one went to someone from either St. Louis County or city, reports the Star‘s Prime Buzz. That’s one position out of 21 for an area that contains one fourth of the population of the entire state. (Even more on game days, especially those rare Sundays in September when both the Rams and the Cards play at home.)
I realize a little explanation can partly explain this:
- All three Republican senators that solely represent portions of St. Louis County or city (assuming one holds on after the recount) were just elected this week, so they will be freshmen.
- If you were to look past leadership positions to committee assignments, I think you would find a number of GOP House members from St. Louis County (Icet, Bivins, etc.) heading important committees next year.
- During the past session, both Senate leaders were from St. Louis (Gibbons and Coleman), so maybe it’s just a little flow of the political tides.
- Senate Democrat leadership does have a St. Louisan in the number two spot.
Which really just leads me to ask: Why don’t the House Democrats have anyone from St. Louis in leadership? Perhaps everyone with any seniority at all ran for higher office (Hubbard, Donnelly, Zweifel, Page, Wright-Jones, and probably a few more), and the choices from St. Louis were limited. But considering the overwhelming support for the Democrat ticket in the city, and how most of the gains that the House Democrats made were in St. Louis County, you would think there would be a spot somewhere for a St. Louisan. Maybe I need to remember, though, that we are a statewide think tank, and I should stop being so provincial. …
Two other asides from election day are worthy of posting here, without getting too partisan:
- I can prove my non-partisan bona fides by the fact that I did vote for one victorious Democrat. I voted for my incumbent state rep because he was A) unopposed and B) is also a very nice person, and a genuinely dedicated public servant (as well as a reader of this blog), so I was pleased to give him my vote. One of these days, I am going to make it to his morning forums at the Pasta House. …
- I spent election night in 1994 in Chicago. Since then, I have hung out on every major election night with two wonderful friends, Sherman and Tom. Well, I had a great time this year in Kirkwood with Tom (along with my family, until my wife took the baby home). We ended the night perfectly at PJ’s Tavern, after hanging at Allendale, before I took a cab home to University City. (Election nights like Tuesday require a fair amount of drinking.) But it did hit me several times on election day that Sherman was no longer with us, and it reminded me how much I miss him.