O’FALLON, Mo. (AP) — A Democrat campaigning for suburban St. Louis Republican Rep. Nick Schroer’s seat says he should be kicked off the November ballot because he moved out of his district.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Schroer and his wife sold their O’Fallon home in May and bought a new one in Defiance, which is outside his House district.
Schroer says his family moved so his daughter could go to another school district. He says he’s renting the basement of a family friend’s home in O’Fallon.
Democratic candidate Victoria Witt Datt is asking a judge to disqualify him from the ballot.
On Monday, August 24, House Minority Leader Crystal Quade and Assistant Minority Leader Tommie Pierson Jr. sent a letter to Missouri House Speaker Elijah Haahr to ask for an ethics investigation into Schroer’s actions.
Quade and Pierson say that by moving out of his district, Schroer is ineligible to represent the district and should be removed from office.
Schroer is presently a sponsor on three of six anti-crime bills being debated in the Missouri House.
You can read the letter in its entirety below:
Dear Speaker Haahr:
As you no doubt are aware, state Rep. Nick Schroer is the subject of a lawsuit filed on Aug. 20 alleging he no longer resides in the 107th House District and therefore is ineligible to seek re-election from that district. While the judicial system will determine the fate of Rep. Schroer’scandidacy, the situation carries more immediate – and serious – implications for the House of Representatives that must be resolved immediately.
Article III, Section 13 of the Missouri Constitution clearly states, without qualification or exception:“If any senator of representative remove his residence from the district or county for which he was elected, his office shall thereby be vacated.”
If the facts set forth at length in the petition are true, and the substantial evidence provided indicates they are, then Rep. Schroer has vacated his office and no longer is eligible to represent his district.
This is particularly problematic since the House is convened in a special legislative session, and Rep. Schroer is a sponsor of three of the six bills the House is scheduled to debate later today.
By forfeiting his office, Rep. Schroer can no longer claim to be a state representative. If he continues to handle bills, participate in debate and cast votes, it will call into question not just the legitimacy of the special session legislation but the integrity of the House of Representatives. As stated in the petition, Rep. Schroer removed his residency from the 107th District and then constructed an elaborate fraud to make it appear he had not. As speaker, you cannot turn a blind eye to these allegations
Rep. Schroer has issued a statement saying he moved his family out of the 107th District in order to better provide for the educational needs of his daughter. Doing what is necessary to take care of his family is commendable. Lying to his constituents and fraudulently clinging to an office he has forfeited is not.
Please take all necessary actions in this matter to uphold the Missouri Constitution and preserve the integrity of the House of Representatives, including, but not limited to, referral to the HouseEthics Committee for a full investigation.Crystal Quade and Tommie Pierson Jr.