Former Florissant mayor to run for U.S. Senate as independent –

9/6/06: John Danforth speaks about his new book “Faith and Politics” Wednesday in his offices at Bryan Cave in downtown St. Louis. . KAREN ELSHOUT | Post-Dispatch
JEFFERSON CITY — The former mayor of Florissant announced Monday he will file to run as an independent for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Republican Roy Blunt.
Thomas P. Schneider, who served as mayor of the St. Louis suburb from 2011 to 2019, said he was inspired to enter the race because of a prediction by former U.S. Sen. John Danforth that a center-right candidate would join the already crowded race.
Florissant Mayor Thomas Schneider
“I have always considered myself a ‘Centrist’ but I also have always supported Organized Labor because I believe in the long run that they helped to create and maintain a strong middle class,” Schneider said in a letter to Danforth that he shared with the Post-Dispatch.
Over the weekend, Danforth released the results of a new poll suggesting an independent candidate — one who promotes a message of unity instead of division — would have a strong chance of winning the general election.
Danforth emphasized he didn’t have someone specific in mind to take on the two established party candidates.
Schneider, who also served on the Florissant City Council from 1979 to 2011, said he retired from public office as the longest continuous nonpartisan officeholder in the state.
“My approach to public service was always pragmatic and we achieved results by consensus building for progress. We focused on and put a priority on what was in the best interest of the people rather than worry about political capital,” he wrote in his letter.
The survey, conducted between Feb. 2 and 6 by Miami-based Bendixen & Amandi International, found that a “Republican running as an Independent” would receive 28% of the vote, compared with a “Republican who will support the Trump wing of the GOP” winning 31% and a “Democrat who will support Chuck Schumer” also receiving 31%.
That puts a hypothetical candidate within the poll’s margin of error of 3.5%.
The poll was commissioned by Danforth and the Serve America Movement, led by former U.S. Rep. David Jolly, a Florida Republican who has rebuked the Trump wing of the party.
Filing for the 2022 election begins Tuesday, with at least six Republicans and six Democrats expected to put their names in the ring for the Senate seat.
The Republicans include U.S. Reps. Vicky Hartzler and Billy Long; Attorney General Eric Schmitt; Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan; St. Louis lawyer Mark McCloskey; and former Gov. Eric Greitens, who resigned in 2018 amid scandal.
The Democrats include Marine veteran Lucas Kunce, the top fundraiser who describes himself as a populist; along with former state Sen. Scott Sifton, D-south St. Louis County, who said recently he was the first candidate to visit all of the state’s 114 counties. Spencer Toder, Jewel Kelly, Tim Shepard and Gena Ross are also running.
In addition to his service in Florissant, Schneider said he also served as an enlisted surveyor with the U.S. Navy Seabees on two tours in Vietnam and one in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
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Kurt Erickson is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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9/6/06: John Danforth speaks about his new book “Faith and Politics” Wednesday in his offices at Bryan Cave in downtown St. Louis. . KAREN ELSHOUT | Post-Dispatch
Florissant Mayor Thomas Schneider
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