COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Columbia businessman Randy Minchew said he will not run for the newly-drawn state senate seat representing Boone County.
Minchew told ABC 17 News that he faced a "serious uphill battle" with fundraising for the race. He said many groups questioned whether a Republican could win the 19th District seat. He previously said he was exploring a run for the state senate seat.
A state committee in 2022 redrew the boundary lines of the district to solely include Boone County. The district had previously included Boone and Cooper counties, and voters of the latter county powered the Republican candidate to victory. Democrats hold all elected positions in Boone County government.
Minchew said he made the "sad decision" to leave the race because of the lack of commitments. Minchew surmised it might take more than a million dollars for a Republican candidate to win the seat, and said he worried about the loss of a conservative voice for Boone County residents in government.
Minchew, the vice president of development at DeLine Holdings, came in second place in his 2022 run for Columbia mayor. He also lost a run for the Sixth Ward city council seat in 2021.
Democratic candidate Stephen Webber remains the only candidate officially in the race. Webber had amassed more than $100,000 in his campaign committee, while a political action committee supporting him has collected more than $200,000.
Sen. Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia) has held the state senate seat since he defeated Webber in 2016 and won re-election in 2020. Rowden lost Boone County in both of his elections by more than 1,000 votes but ultimately won the seat from voters in Cooper County.