Missouri Senate President Pro Temp Tom Dempsey cited wanting to spend more time with his family in announcing his plans to resign his 23rd-District seat and take a job in the private sector.
Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey
Lauren Hieger, a spokesperson for Dempsey, said July 31 that Dempsey’s last day in office is Aug. 7.
A Republican, Dempsey has served as a legislator since 2000. He has served as a state senator representing a portion of St. Charles County since 2007 and served as senate minority floor leaders before being elected to the senate’s top position of president pro tem in 2013. He served seven years in the Missouri House from 2001-2007.In a statement, Dempsey said his family has allowed him serve in elective office, first on the St. Charles City Council and then in the legislature.“While holding this public trust has been one of the highest points of my life, it has come at a cost,” Dempsey states. “It has been said that time is like money: it can only be spent once, I have spent a lot of it away from those I love.”
Dempsey, 48, and his wife, Molly, have three children. One daughter has graduated from college, another daughter is a junior at the University of Missouri and a son is a high school sophomore.
Dempsey also mentioned the death of his mother two years ago.
“Her passing left a void and has led me to reassess my priorities,” he said.Last December, he also helped close down a part of the family business where he and his wife worked for 24 years – the Columns family banquet center on Veterans Memorial Parkway in St Charles. The center has been torn down and SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital—St. Charles plans to build an outpatient care facility on the site.“These events have helped me come to the conclusion that it’s time for me to return to private life,” he states. “It has been an honor to be chosen to represent my community in Jefferson City, and a privilege to serve my colleagues in the House and Senate as an elected leader. In return, I have tried to steer our state in a direction they would support.”
Dempsey was one year from leaving office because of term limits. Gov. Jay Nixon can set a date for a special election for the remaining year of Dempsey’s term. The primary for the next four-year term is in August 2016 with the general election in November.
Among the candidates said to be interested in the state are State Rep. Anne Zerr, R-65 District, Mark Parkinson, and businessman Bill Eigel, according to the Missouri Times, a publication that tracks Missouri politics.