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CoMo CAMPAIGN CASH KING: May seek State Treasurer or State Auditor seat

WrightControversial but well-funded, Wright may run statewide 

COLUMBIA, Mo 2/9/14 (Beat Byte) -- A Democrat State Representative whose 2012 general election campaign turned controversial over a bribery charge has reportedly announced he's running for Missouri State Treasurer.

"John Wright is meeting with the state's top Democrats, as well as large contributors and interest groups, telling them he's running for Treasurer," the political news site Missouri Scout reported Dec. 31

Currently held by Clint Zweifel (D), the State Treasurer position will be a seat without an incumbent in 2016.   Term limits bar Zweifel from seeking re-election.  

Wright's name has also surfaced as a candidate for Missouri State Auditor.   He currently represents portions of Boone, Randolph, Howard, and Cooper counties. 

Mentioned as a potential statewide candidate since his election to the statehouse in November 2012, Wright may be best known for his substantial campaign war chest, much of it self-financed.   "The Yale-educated attorney spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money to defeat Republican Mitch Richards," political reporter Jason Rosenbaum noted in a story for St. Louis Public Radio about another seat Wright may consider:  Missouri State Auditor in 2014. 

Republican State AuCopenhaverditor Tom Schweich has announced he will seek re-election to the post, and with a sizeable war chest of his own:  over $762,000 to Wright's $107,000, the Missouri Times reported last month. 

But "Wright's ability to fund his own campaign could mute Schweich’s financial advantage," Rosenbaum explained. 
  
The bribery scandal erupted after Wright's opponent in the Democratic primary for the 47th District statehouse seat, former Missouri State Representative and Moberly City Councilwoman Nancy Copenhaver, told this publication Wright and then-State Representative Mary Still offered her a significant financial payoff if she would exit the primary.  
 
Both Still and Wright denied the charges, which surfaced again during campaign debates.  

Wright won both the primary and general elections, reportedly spending the highest total ever for a Columbia-area State Rep. campaign.    "Wright won a surprisingly competitive race during 2012 and did so while raising an impressive amount of money," the Missouri Times explains, in a top-ten list of Democrats best-suited to challenge Schweich. 
 
The list also includes Boone County-area State Rep. Stephen Webber.    


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