Front-Runner Charlie Davis withdraws from 32d State Senatardial Race to Run 4 Jasper County Clerk

by Lee Ann Murphy
Posted January 22, 2018 @ 5:57pm

A well-fed Charlie Davis speaks at the Newton County Republican
Watermelon Feed in August 2017 when he was running for State Senatard


JOPLIN — Until last week, Charlie Davis (R), current Missouri State Representative from the 162nd district, was one of three candidates for the Missouri 32nd District Senate seat currently held by Ron Richard (R) of Joplin.

Davis announced his withdrawal from the race and decided he would run for the office of Jasper County Clerk, an office currently held by Marilyn Baugh. Baugh has decided not to seek reelection.

The news surprised many who follow area political campaigns, including Baugh.

David issued a press release and posted a statement on his Facebook page.

“As I am sure everyone is aware by now I have decided to run for Jasper County Clerk and not the Missouri Senate,” Davis stated. “It was a difficult decision but the right one. I have preached for decades about the responsibility of family to take care of family. My parents, in-laws and grandparents are a time in their lives where they need some extra TLC. I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t put family first.“

Davis has served Jasper County residents as their state representative since first being elected in 2010. This term will be his last as a state representative due to term limits.

“The integrity of our election system has been an issue I have fought for during my 8 years in the Missouri House of Representatives and that will carry over into my role as County Clerk, as that position is the chief election officer in our county,” Davis said. “I am so blessed to have been able to serve Jasper County in the Missouri legislature and I look forward to fighting for what is right in the Jasper County Court House. I thank you all for supporting me for the past 8 years and I pray for your support during this race for County Clerk.“

He also stated that his wife, Laura, supports him 100% in whatever he pursues. “My wife, Laura, has been my rock for 26 years. She loves politics but loves it even more so because of what public service means to me.“

Davis’ withdrawal from the 32nd district Missouri Senate election currently leaves two other candidates in the race. Missouri State Representative Bill White, (R), currently holds the representative seat for the 161st district. Like Davis, he will reach term limits so has chosen to seek the Senate seat. The other candidate is political newcomer, Conon Gillis, Neosho, a Green Party candidate.

White’s campaign manager announced last week that White has raised $227,000 as of the last fundraising quarter.

Gillis, a government and history teacher at Neosho High School, is making his first run for office. At 29, he is the youngest candidate in the race and will turn 30, the minimum age necessary to serve as a Missouri State Senator, prior to the general election.

At this time, no Democratic or third party candidates have filed for the Missouri 32nd District Senate election. Deadline to file is March 27, 2018. The primary election this year takes places on Tuesday, August 7 and the general election will be held on November 6, 2018.

Richard, the current Missouri Senator from the 32nd District, cannot seek reelection due to term limits.