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The Missouri capitol its own museum of art

A capitol employee passes the Governor's office on the second floor of the Missouri capitol building on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018, beneath a mural by Sir Frank Brangwyn, an Anglo-Welsh artist, which covers the ceiling of the rotunda in Jefferson City. Photo by Christian Gooden,

JEFFERSON CITY — A campus police officer from south St. Louis County is poised to launch a bid for an open seat in the Missouri Senate.

Mitchell Kohlberg, 34, of Affton, told the Post-Dispatch Friday that he expects to make a formal announcement about his run for the 1st Senate District next month.

“I want to give the middle class more of a voice,” the Republican said.

Kohlberg is the second Republican to file paperwork indicating a possible run for the seat being vacated by Sen. Scott Sifton, D-Affton.

It remained unclear, however, if former Rep. Marsha Haefner, R-Oakville, was planning to seek the Senate seat. Haefner, who has $1,559 in her campaign account, currently is on the payroll of Republican Gov. Mike Parson as a liaison in his St. Louis office.

Haefner served eight years in the House and left in 2018 because of term limits.

Kohlberg, who is married and has three children, said he has not discussed his candidacy with Haefner. He filed to run in June and has not yet reported whether he has raised any money.

He has not previous political experience.

Democratic Rep. Doug Beck, D-Affton, has already announced his plans to replace the term-limited Sifton, who has represented the district since 2012. He had nearly $85,000 in his campaign account as of April 1.

Beck, a union pipefitter, has represented the 92nd District in the House since 2017, after he beat Republican Daniel Bogle.

He cruised to re-election last year with 60 percent of the vote over Republican Bill Heisse.

The district boundaries stretch from the Oakville area north to Brentwood. The seat had been in Republican hands until Sifton won the post.

In 2016, Sifton beat Republican Randy Jotte by a 53-47 margin.

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Kurt Erickson is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch