GOP state Senator launches campaign to become Missouri’s secretary of state

State Sen. Denny Hoskins, R-Warrensburg (Photo courtesy Senate Communications)
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(Missouri Independent) – State Sen. Denny Hoskins, a Warrensburg Republican and member of the now-defunct Senate conservative caucus, announced Tuesday he would seek his party’s nomination for Missouri secretary of state.

He’s hoping to replace Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, who is serving his second term and decided against seeking re-election in order to run for governor. 

The secretary of state is Missouri’s top election official. The office also handles business filings, oversees the state library, and writes ballot summaries for proposed initiative petitions, among other duties. 

“We need someone in the Secretary of State’s office who will fight for Missouri and stand up to ensure the integrity of our election system,” Hoskins said in a statement announcing his candidacy.

Greene County Clerk Shane Schoeller, a former legislator and Missouri GOP executive director has already launched a campaign for secretary of state. Senate President Pro Tem Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, is rumored to be considering a run. 

Born in Jefferson City, Hoskins graduated from Central Missouri University in Warrensburg with a degree in accounting. He served in the Missouri House from 2009 to 2016 before being elected to the state Senate, where his affiliation with the conservative caucus has put him at the center of much of the chamber’s infighting. 

Most recently, Hoskins has blocked the passage of legislation legalizing sports wagering because it did not include provisions legalizing slot-machine-like gaming devices that have proliferated in gas stations and other public spaces around Missouri.

Hoskins has teased a run for statewide office for months, making clear he planned to run in 2024 but withholding which office he had chosen to go after. 

“I look forward to continuing my conservative fighting spirit statewide,” Hoskins tweeted in February.

He enters the race with roughly $96,000 in his campaign committee and another $110,000 in a political action committee supporting his candidacy. 

(Photo courtesy Senate Communications)

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Jason Hancock

Jason Hancock has been writing about Missouri since 2011, most recently as lead political reporter for The Kansas City Star. He has spent nearly two decades covering politics and policy for news organizations across the Midwest and has a track record of exposing government wrongdoing and holding elected officials accountable.