Rowden drops majority leader bid to seek 19th District Senate seat

State Rep. Caleb Rowden abandoned his bid for House majority leader Monday to turn his attention to the 19th District state Senate seat that Democrats are eager to capture in 2016 with state Rep. Stephen Webber.

Rowden, a Columbia Republican, said he made the decision during a recent anniversary vacation with his wife, Aubrey Rowden. The workload of a leadership job, with fundraising and travel throughout the year, would take too much time from their family, he said.

The change of plans was not the result of falling behind in the leadership race among 117 Republican House members, Rowden said.

“I firmly believe we were in the running to win the race,” he said.

Webber, a Columbia Democrat, announced earlier this year that he would seek the seat currently held by Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, who is barred from seeking a third term. Webber, 32, finished law school in 2014 and is serving his fourth and final term in the House.

The 19th District includes Boone and Cooper counties. Schaefer is running for Missouri attorney general in 2016.

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Source: Columbia Daily Tribune