T-shirts in support of Dave Schatz for State Senate draped the backs of many chairs, and a large Tim Jones sign sat in the back of the room at the Republican Lincoln Day dinner in Washington Friday night.

Schatz, a Republican state representative from Sullivan, has filed to run for the state Senate District 26 seat while Jones, the Republican speaker of the Missouri House from Eureka, may also run for the seat.

Schatz received significant applause at the Lincoln Day Banquet when he told the crowd that he was running for the Senate seat.

The current officeholder State Sen. Brian Nieves, R-Washington, last week dropped his re-election bid and is now considering a run for a Franklin County elected office.

Schatz thanked Nieves once again for his years of service in the Legislature and the military.

“He’s done a fine job, and he’s been a fine leader,” Schatz said.

As he tries to get elected to the state Senate, Schatz said he will look for the public’s support and prayers.

“For nearly 50 years this is where I’ve made my home, I’ve raised my family . . .” Schatz said, adding that he has helped run companies and start businesses. “We’ve been employers. I bring common sense to that Capitol, and I’m not a politician. I’m not a career politician. I went there trying to do the right thing.”

At press time Tuesday, Schatz was the only candidate for the Senate seat, but Jones’ office issued a statement last week saying he is considering the position.

Jones also made a speech at the banquet and said. “It’s always good to be in Franklin County.”

But he did not mention in his speech any plans to run for the Senate seat that Schatz is seeking. The deadline to file for the Aug. 5 primary election is March 25.

“I travel back and forth through here twice a week — Mondays headed to Jeff City, Thursdays coming back,” Jones said. “Yes, I stop. I spend lots of money in the gas stations and all that. So we’re funding Franklin County as much as we can.”

Jones decried the federal government’s actions.

“Government generally does things to you these days, especially on the federal level,” Jones said.

Federal Overreach?

The federal government tries to tell people what health insurance to buy and how people should regulate their caloric intake, he added.

The GOP super majority in the Missouri House and Senate is “protecting you every single day from the out-of-control executive branch,” Jones said.

With the exception of Republican Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich and Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, the rest of the state executive branch is “working as hard as it can behind the scenes in the bureaucracies, in the deep, dark recesses of the agencies of government,” Jones added.

In this election, it is vital that the Legislature keep the super majorities in the House and Senate, Jones said.

The Republican Legislature is trying to reduce residents’ tax burden, reduce regulations, solve education problems and move the debate forward to make Missouri a right-to-work state, he said. Second Amendment rights will be protected and Medicaid also will not be expanded, Jones said.

He added that the Missouri Baptist Convention recently said he is the strongest pro-life speaker the organization has seen in the state. That’s an honor Jones said, but it does not mean anything without a super majority of pro-life legislators.