Andrew Jones, a former candidate for St. Louis mayor, announced Tuesday he was running for Congress as a Republican for the seat currently held by U.S. Rep. Cori Bush.
Jones, who is vice president of business development and marketing for Southwestern Electric Cooperative, ran as a Republican for mayor in 2017. He ran again this year as the city switched to a nonpartisan system for electing mayors. He lost both campaigns.
In a campaign press release, Jones called Bush a "socialist ideologue" and said it was "time for a change" in the 1st Congressional District.
“Our families are struggling under the weight of inflation and out of control prices," Jones said in a news release. "There is a growing crime epidemic in our communities and our children are suffering under a chronic underperforming education system.
"We don’t need a socialist ideologue that divides people based upon income, race and background," he said. "What we need is common sense representation that will put the interest of St. Louis and St. Louis County first; that is why I am running for Congress to provide real answers for real challenges.”
Jones, if he wins the GOP primary next August, will face an uphill battle in the heavily Democratic 1st Congressional District, which covers St. Louis and parts of St. Louis County.
Bush stirred controversy over the weekend by voting against President Joe Biden's bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, one of only six Democrats to vote "no" on the bill.
Bush defended her vote in an interview Monday, saying she and progressive allies followed through on a promise to vote against the plan unless a separate package containing new money for universal preschool, home care for elderly and disabled, climate change initiatives and more also advanced. A vote on that plan could occur next week.
Talk of a Democratic primary challenger for Bush has also circulated in recent days.
One Democrat, Earl Childress, has already filed paperwork to run with the Federal Election Commission. Childress, on his website, says he is a pastor and economic rights leader who is running as a moderate.
No other Democrats have announced campaigns.
Asked Monday what she thought of a possible primary challenger next year, Bush said “they can do that.”
She added, “For me, I’m going to keep doing the work. … We need people that will actually fight for the regular person.”