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Jamie Corley believes not being a lawmaker helps her Missouri secretary of state candidacy

Jamie Corley, Candidate for Missouri Secretary of State, photographed at St. Louis Public Radio offices on Thursday June 27, 2024.
Theo R. Welling
St.Louis Public Radio
Jamie Corley, candidate for Missouri secretary of state, on June 27 at St. Louis Public Radio in the city's Grand Center neighborhood. Corley is one of eight Republicans seeking the position.

Of the eight Republicans seeking to become Missouri’s next secretary of state, half of them entered the race at the end of the filing period.

One of those candidates, political strategist Jamie Corley, said her decision to run came after Senate President Pro Tem Caleb Rowden dropped out.

“I looked at the candidates, and I did not see anyone who I would vote for,” Corley said.

Other Republicans seeking the nomination for secretary of state are state Sens. Mary Elizabeth Coleman and Denny Hoskins, House Speaker Dean Plocher, Greene County Clerk Shane Schoeller, state Rep. Adam Schwadron, Wentzville municipal judge Mike Carter and St. Louis resident Valentina Gomez. House Rep. Barbara Phifer is the most well-known Democrat candidate who filed.

Half of the candidates are members of the Missouri legislature. Corley believes not being a state lawmaker puts her at an advantage.

“If I was a part of the last two years of nonsense in the Missouri legislature, I would be embarrassed to ask someone for a promotion, especially Missouri voters,” Corley said.

Against making it harder to amend the constitution

Corley has been involved with the secretary of state’s office due to her filing of a proposed constitutional amendment that would have legalized abortion in Missouri with limits.

Though she withdrew her amendment because there was a competing petition that also would overturn the state’s abortion ban, the initiative petition process is one of the reasons why Corley is running.

Corley disagrees with some of her fellow Republicans who believe it should be harder to amend the constitution.

“I would make sure that people know I am a secretary of state that will respond to groups and voters who want to use their constitutional right to change statutes and change the constitution,” Corley said.

Corley was a guest on St. Louis Public Radio’s Politically Speaking. Here are some of the things she talked about on the show.

  • Why she filed an initiative petition that would have overturned Missouri’s abortion ban and why her opposition to the state’s abortion ban is in step with what some other Missouri Republicans believe.
  • Her qualifications for the position, which includes her past experiences registering businesses.
  • Missouri’s early voting period, including why she doesn’t want to change it.
  • Current Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s rules on libraries and why Corley said she would have handled that situation differently.

Corley is a Missouri native and a University City resident. She is the executive director of the Missouri Woman and Family Research Fund, which is an organization centered on women’s health care and is, according to its website, “dedicated to protecting women’s healthcare access in Missouri and restoring rational, compassionate reproductive laws statewide.”

Corley previously lived in Washington, D.C., working for three members of Congress performing media duties. She also lived in San Francisco, where she worked at a think tank at Stanford.

Sarah Kellogg is a Missouri Statehouse and Politics Reporter for St. Louis Public Radio and other public radio stations across the state.
Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.