Missouri Sen. Scott Sifton, D-St. Louis County, told the Phelps County Democratic Club Saturday night that he's thinking of running for state attorney general.
Missouri Sen. Scott Sifton, D-St. Louis County, told the Phelps County Democratic Club Saturday night that he’s thinking of running for state attorney general.
“In 2016, I am considering a run at attorney general,” Sifton, who represents Missouri’s 1st Senatorial District, said. “(Attorney) General (Chris) Koster will make a run for governor,” he continued, so that opens up the office and “I am very seriously considering making that race.”
Sifton, who grew up in Kansas City, graduated from Truman State University in 1996 and the University of Michigan Law School in 1999.
He said his first job out of Truman was as a staff advance worker for President Bill Clinton’s campaign. He also worked on a state bus tour for the late Gov. Mel Carnahan.
A licensed real estate attorney, he is a partner in the Husch Blackwell law firm.
He recalled working summers during law school as a clerk for then-Attorney General Jay Nixon. He assisted on appellate briefs “to keep murderers and rapists behind bars,’ he said.
Sifton was elected to the state Senate in November 2012, so he is midway through his first four-year term.
Before that, he served a two-year term in the Missouri House of Representatives.
He also served on the Affton Board of Education from 2001-2010.
Sifton also told the local Democrats the statewide media are misleading the public regarding the recent veto session. Newspapers and broadcasters alike have focused on the fact that 57 of now Gov. Nixon’s vetoes were overridden during the veto session, plus another during the regular session, setting a new record for overrides. Previously, the high was 12 in 1833.
But Sifton said that doesn’t tell the whole story. He stressed that of the $775 million in tax cuts for various groups passed on the last day of the regular session, most were upheld.
“The governor vetoed all of those Friday favors, $775 million in tax cuts,” Sifton said. “Ninety-five percent of those he won.” There were some small tax cuts that were overridden, one pertaining to farmers markets, Sifton said, but the rest were sustained.
“He is making a big difference,” Sifton said of Nixon. “Don’t think for a minute our governor is on the ropes. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”
Sifton said the state is $600 million behind in funding the foundation formula to fund K-12 education. In addition, the Legislature approved a $620 million income tax cut that the governor vetoed, but which was overridden in the session.
“The governor basically vetoed all new spending bills,” Sifton said. With revenue “flat,” he continued, “It seems like the fiscally conservative thing to do.”
Then on the last day of the regular session, the Legislature passed another $775 million in tax cuts.
Sifton’s Senate biography notes: “He received awards from both the Missouri Bar Association and Interfaith Legal Services for Immigrants for his service in the House.”
Sifton also served on the American Lung Association Missouri chapter’s board from 2000-2006 and as the vice chairman of the Missouri Bar Association’s legislative committee in 2004. He has volunteered for and with the Affton Chamber of Commerce, Affton Community Betterment Association, Lemay Chamber of Commerce, Concord Democratic Club and the Lemay Democratic Club.
“I am one of nine Democrats out of 34 senators,” Sifton told the Phelps County Democrats. “I am your closest Democratic senator.”