State Rep. Justin Alferman, R-Hermann, says the recent buzz about former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander on a national level is undeserved.
After a narrow loss for a U.S. Senate seat in 2016, Kander has been traveling the country lending his efforts to not one, but five unsuccessful U.S. House campaigns since last year.
The most recent one was the unsuccessful bid by democrat John Ossoff for a U.S. House seat in Georgia, which garnered national media attention.
Kander recently was named chairman of the DNC’s committee on voting rights, formed a political action group, Let America Vote, and signed on as an analyst with CNN all the while supporting liberal candidates nationwide.
In recent weeks, national publications Vogue and Politico have labeled Kander the future of the democratic party.
Alferman says the attention Kander is getting as a rising star in the Democratic party is self serving.
“Jason is a nice guy and he is very vitriolic,” Alferman said. “But, this is all about him staying in the spotlight.”
There is no love lost between Alferman and Kander as their differing ideologies collided when Alferman was pushing through his voter ID bill and referendum last fall.
“The referendum was passed by 63 percent of Missouri voters,” Alferman said. “They spent millions of dollars to defeat it and not one cent was spent to promote it.”
Alferman noted that on his last day in office, Kander gave a rambling speech to legislators, which was basically insulting.
“It was very greater than thou,” he said. “He was basically grasping at straws trying to stay relevant. It was embarrassing to watch.”
On the other hand, Alferman said it will be hard for Kander to stay relevant and many factors must still unfold before the next election cycle.
“He’ll have to keep it up another three years,” Alferman said. “It is so ridiculously early. This is fun to talk about but it doesn’t lend itself to a lot of credibility.”
Winning by Losing
After serving four years as a state representative and one term as Missouri Secretary of State, Kander challenged incumbent U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt and boasts he almost turned a red state blue.
Blunt defeated Kander statewide by a margin of just 78,258 votes. In Franklin County, that margin was much wider with Blunt winning by more than 9,100 votes.
Alferman said all five of the special House campaigns Kander has been involved with have been unsuccessful and showed his true colors promoting the liberal agenda despite running as a moderate last fall.
Putting himself in the middle of high-profile campaigns has some pundits calling Kander one of the brightest stars in the Democratic party and his name has been mentioned as a potential presidential candidate.
“The only person who sees Jason Kander as a national candidate is Jason Kander,” Alferman said. “He’s putting himself in the right places at the right times. He is very charismatic, if you leave out the partisan rhetoric.”
He added Kander’s aligning himself with more liberal candidates may spoil any chances Kander may have in winning another statewide office in Missouri, possibly governor, due to the more conservative leaning electorate in parts of the state other than Kansas City and St. Louis.
Kander is not the only Missouri politician who has been in the national spotlight.
Gov. Eric Greitens raised eyebrows last week when he attended a function with the high powered Koch brothers, who have bankrolled dozens of Republican candidates over the years.
Many pundits say the governor’s office is just a stepping stone for Greitens to run for president as well.