A short time after word leaked that Blunt plans to announce his candidacy during a whirlwind state tour tomorrow, Col. Jack Jackson, a former state representative announced he would not run for the U. S. Senate, but instead seek the 26th District State Senate seat.
Jackson becomes the second possible Republican candidate to remove his name from candidacy, following the lead of former Sen. Jim Talent.
At the moment, that leaves Blunt and former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman as the candidates most mentioned in GOP circles.
The following news release was just issued by Col. Jackson:
An experienced veteran of the Vietnam War and Missouri government and politics now has his sites set on the state senate. Jack Jackson, the former State Representative and retired Marine Corps Colonel who led John McCain’s presidential campaign in Missouri today announced he is running for state senator in the 26th district. The district includes Franklin and Warren counties and parts of West St. Louis County. In a statement released online at the website jackjackson.org Colonel Jackson issued a “call to arms” for concerned voters. “These are challenging times for all of us.” “Our economy, our moral values and the future prosperity of our families are all under siege.” “This is not the time to stand down.” “We must stand together and confront our challenges head on.” In the statement Jackson also vows to be a tough, strong voice for taxpayers. “As a Marine combat pilot in Vietnam I faced down the enemy almost every day.” “I’ve been shot at for real, so there is not much in the state capital that will make me back down.” Jackson was highly decorated for military service earning four Distinguished Flying Crosses, 33 Air Medals, The Navy Commendation Medal for Heroism and Valor, and the Legion of Merit. Jackson went on to become the Chief Test Pilot for McDonnell Douglas and Boeing Aircraft and set records for flight hours logged in Harrier Jump Jets. As an administrator he played a key role in keeping multibillion dollar taxpayer supported projects on time and on budget. His efforts to persuade members of congress to keep production lines open at Boeing are credited with helping save thousands of jobs in Missouri. As a State Representative and Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee he chastised and challenged members of his own party on plans related to disaster preparedness that he felt were insufficient. As Chairman of the Veterans Committee he pushed through the Military Family Relief Fund which has provided financial assistance to a new generation of Missouri Veterans returning from combat duty. The winner of next year’s election will fill the senate seat currently held by Republican John Griesheimer who will have served the maximum 2 terms.