Jason Kander

Jason Kander spoke to the National Farmers Union conference in his official capacity as the head of a voting rights nonprofit. Yet Monday’s hometown address by the Democrat, which ranged from U.S. trade policy to college affordability, sounded more like a stump speech.

Kander didn’t directly address whether he’d run for office again, telling reporters he’s “focused on making sure we’re still able to hold elections.”

“Then maybe one day I’ll be in one” he added.

For a century, Missouri was considered the ultimate swing state: Its voters backed every presidential winner but one from 1904 to 2004.

In the last 40 years, it has had four Republican governors and five Democratic ones, and the state legislature shared a similar split in power. But in recent years, political scientists — who once saw the purple state as a microcosm of the country — have started to notice a change.

Often when a candidate loses a high-profile race, he or she prefers to lay low for a while. That’s not the case for former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander.

It’s been three months since he narrowly lost his bid to oust Republican U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt.  Since then, Kander has attracted— and seemingly sought —more national attention than he had during the campaign.

But in an interview with St. Louis Public Radio, the 35-year-old Democrat downplayed the significance. 

Jason Kander
Scott Harvey / KSMU

With polls showing a near toss-up in the race between incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt and Democrat Jason Kander, the candidates are touring the state in a final push to get out the vote. 

On Tuesday, Missouri’s Secretary of State addressed some 50 supporters at Big Momma’s Coffee on Springfield’s north side. Kander reiterated his stance that he’ll be an advocate for the middle class.

In the humble opinions of national pundits that monitor congressional races, Jason Kander pretty much came out nowhere to get on their national radar.

The Washington Post, Roll Call and Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball recently declared that Missouri’s U.S. Senate race was a “toss-up.” And these prognosticators, in general, are very surprised that Kander made the race close. For instance: When Roll Call ranked Kander as the best Senate challenger of the 2016 cycle, the publication called the development “remarkable” for a race “that most analysts considered a second-tier contest when the summer began.”

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