After hearing the news that fellow State Rep. Aaron Griesheimer, R-Washington, is no longer running for state senate district 26, State Rep. Nate Tate, R-St. Clair, is considering running for the seat himself.

The senate district encompasses all of Franklin County and parts of St. Louis County, including areas of Wildwood and Chesterfield. The district could shift once the redistricting process is complete. 

“I’m just beginning the early stages of looking into it,” said Tate, who represents a significant portion of southwestern Franklin County and portions of Washington County in the state House.

“There’s a lot that goes into it, a lot of things to consider and to take into account. I’m just getting the ball rolling on looking into that,” he said.

There is no incumbent in the race due to the fact that current state sen. Dave Schatz, who is now running for U.S. Senate, is vacating the seat due to term limits imposed on the Missouri General Assembly.

“I really, really would like to do it,” Tate said. “It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do, along with being state rep.”

Tate said that, given he can only serve one more term in the state House before he reaches his term limit, this is the logical next step. In Missouri, voters have amended the state’s constitution to limit state representatives to eight years, or four two-year-terms. State senators are limited to two four-year terms. 

“A lot of folks have reached out to me and said, ‘You know, you might want to consider it. I think it would be a good idea,’” he said. “It’s definitely something I’m super excited about, but there’s a lot to take into consideration.”

Among the things to consider, he said is how much more time being a state senator would take away from his family and whether he can “mold and shape” his job at Empac Group Inc., where he works outside of his legislative duties, to allow him the time for added duties.

While he hasn’t yet formulated exactly what ideas and issues he would base his campaign on, he said the campaign would likely center on what got him elected to the House. That includes advocating for people’s freedoms which he says the federal government has been eroding in recent years and being “a voice for the people.”

Tate, a graduate of St. Clair High School and Fontbonne University, has been a member of Missouri’s General Assembly since 2017. As a member of the Missouri House, he served on the Insurance Committee during the last legislative session.  

Tate said he will still be participating in the upcoming legislative session as a representative. That session begins in January.

If he decides to run, he will face restaurant owner Ben Brown, who has made fighting COVID-19 safety measures a focus of his campaign. Democrat Amy Ryan, who previously expressed interest in the seat, has now decided to run for the Rockwood School Board, according to documents filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission. 

The winner of the Republican primary would likely be the next state senator for the district, as a Democrat seeking the Senate seat has not received more than 36.1 percent of votes in over a decade.