Not long after State Sen. Brian Nieves, R-Washington, dropped out of the Missouri Senate race, he announced that there is a very high likelihood that he will run for an elected Franklin County office.
Nieves, who has served in the state Legislature for about 12 years, last week dropped his re-election bid for the 26th Senate District, which includes Franklin and west St. Louis County.
Nieves made a short speech at the Lincoln Day Banquet in Washington last Friday and thanked the crowd for its support through the years.
“From the bottom of my heart I just gotta tell you this has been the most amazing 12 years of my life,” Nieves told the packed house at the Knights of Columbus Hall. “I’ve appreciated your support.”
Meanwhile, Nieves is weighing a run for one of the Franklin County offices on the ballot this year.
The presiding county commissioner seat is the position he is least likely to run for even though that is the one people want him to go for the most, he said Monday.
He said he has been under an “avalanche” of people asking him to run for county office.
The idea of running for a local office interests him because it allows him to remain close to home and continue serving the citizens, Nieves noted.
If he files, it will not be until Friday or Monday he said. The filing period for the Aug. 5 primary ends March 25.
Nieves said he needs to consider the county offices that are on the ballot and the people in the positions now and decide which one he may run for. He said he does not want to run against a person who is doing a good job in office.
Nieves said he is very open to the recorder of deeds seat because the current officeholder, Sharon Birkman, has announced she will not run for re-election.
He told the crowd at the Lincoln Day Banquet Friday that it “almost seems surreal” that 12 years ago he and his family decided that he would run for state office.
“That time at least for now has come to a close,” he said.
Nieves said he is very blessed and that both of his parents are still alive.
“As a family we’re making some big decisions about what’s going to be happening,” Nieves said, adding that, “Brian needs to be closer to home.”
But he said, “Brian ain’t done, OK, Brian ain’t done. Those of you who don’t like me, I got bad news for you because I ain’t done.”
He added that he never thought he would go into politics, noting that he is a military veteran and a businessman.
When he filed to run for the Legislature the first time it was “almost flippantly,” he said.
It was about two days before the close of the filing period, and he told his wife that he was going to run for state representative.
“She said, ‘You’re going to do what?’ ” Nieves said, adding that he was “sick and tired of being sick and tired.”
Nieves told The Missourian Monday that he wants to be closer to his wife and children and that his 94-year-old grandmother is moving in with the family.
He does not want to miss his son’s baseball games and no longer wants his wife to be a single mother when he is away during the four to five months of the legislative session each year
Nieves also said in his speech that he is the proud sponsor of the Second Amendment Preservation Act, which, he said, is “arguably the strongest piece of Second Amendment legislation in the entire United States right now.”
The bill, which would declare invalid federal gun laws that infringe on Missourians’ rights to bear arms, was vetoed by the governor last year.
But Nieves brought a new version forward this year, and it has already passed the Senate and is now in the House.
He hopes the tweaks that have been made to the bill this year will be enough to get the required votes to override the governor’s veto this year.
Under the bill, it would be a misdemeanor offense for a federal agent to enforce or attempt to enforce federal gun laws declared invalid in Missouri.
He hopes the bill will allow him to go out with a “bang” when he leaves the Legislature.
Nieves served in the Missouri House from 2002 to 2010 and has been in the Senate since 2011.