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An attorney who was fired from former Governor Matt Blunt’s office is using $100,000 from a state legal settlement to finance a run for Congress. Scott Eckersley says it’s fashionable right now for candidates to claim they’ll stand up to either party if elected, but he’s quick to point out that he’s already done that. KSMU’s Jennifer Moore has details.
Although he worked under a Republican Governor, attorney Scott Eckersley is running as Democrat. He’s hoping to win the southwest Missouri seat that’s being vacated by Matt Blunt’s father, Roy Blunt, who’s running for US Senate. Eckersley has just opened an office for his campaign on Park Central West in Springfield. The state of Missouri paid Eckersley and his attorneys $500,000 last year to settle a lawsuit. In that lawsuit, Eckersley claimed he was wrongly fired for criticizing the then-governor’s email deletion policy. The Blunt administration maintained he was fired purely for professional reasons. The settlement included no admission of wrongdoing from either side. Now, Eckersley is using a portion of that money to fuel his campaign. Eckersley told KSMU that he’s campaigning on the notion that he has the guts to stand up to those in power when needed.“I really think this election is so much less about party than it is about the individual. Party politics is something I think folks have had enough of. If I’ve shown anyone anything over the past couple of years, hopefully it’s that I will take a stand. And I will take a stand for constituents against either party," he said.Eckersley says he’s rented an apartment above his downtown Springfield office, and that he plans to be on the road a lot listening to constituents’ concerns.He describes himself as an “independent conservative.” He says that he would not have voted for the federal health care overhaul legislation passed by Congress earlier this year, but he does support parts of it like allowing children to stay on their parents’ insurance policies until they are 26.
He expressed “disgust” with the Missouri Republican Party, and says despite the fact that he considers himself an "independent conservative," the Democratic Party has welcomed him with open arms.
Eckersley is one of two Democrats in the race; there are eight Republicans and one Libertarian.For KSMU News, I’m Jennifer Moore.