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BALLWIN, Mo. – Missouri State Representative Shamed Dogan (R-Ballwin) has taken the first step to run for the office of St. Louis County Executive.

Dogan announced on Tuesday he formed an exploratory committee. Dogan confirmed to FOX 2 he would run as a Republican in 2022.

Dogan cited recent restaurant shutdowns as one area of disagreement with the current administration.

“I want to bring a leadership style to St. Louis County that is grounded in evidence, that’s bi-partisan, that’s going to bring people together across party lines and across every corner of our county,” he said.

FOX 2 reported this week on Dogan’s support for legalizing marijuana in Missouri.

Dogan told FOX 2 he’s an independent-minded conservative who does not always follow what party leaders want.

“What people deserve and what people want to see in public officials is somebody who’s thinking about long-term,” he said.

A press release announcing Dogan’s desire to seek the office of county executive touted his effort to petition Governor Jay Nixon to commute the sentence of Jeff Mizanskey, who served over 20 years of a life sentence for nonviolent marijuana offenses.

The release also cited Dogan’s criminal justice reform efforts and sponsoring a “Blue Alert” law aimed at allowing for the quick capture of anyone suspected of killing or injuring a police officer, after Ballwin Police Officer Mike Flamion was shot and wounded in his district in 2016.

Dogan is from Northwoods. He graduated from Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School and received his bachelor’s degree from Yale University in 2000 in both political science and philosophy.

Dogan told FOX 2 his decision to run is motivated in part by what he views as current leadership failures. His press release states, “When I look at St. Louis County I see a community with declining population, loss of businesses, and a County Executive unwilling or unable to address the roots of these issues.”