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In the last few days three individuals have announced as Democratic candidates for the open seat in the 121st Legislative District.

The 121st includes the cities of Warrensburg, Holden, and Knob Noster in Johnson County. The University of Central Missouri and Whiteman Air Force Base (B-2 bomber) are also in the district.

Both Anthony Arton and Jeff Alvarado announced last Thursday at a meeting of the Johnson County Democratic Club in Warrensburg. Alvarado ran in 2006. Jim Jackson (who ran in 2002) announced today at the 4th Congressional District Federation of Democratic Women’s Club meeting in Warrensburg.

David Pearce (r-plastic smile) currently holds the seat. He has opted to run for the open 31st District Senate seat in 2008. In an open seat race in 2002 Pearce defeated Jim Jackson 4984 to 3301 – this was the most expensive race in the history of the district. In 2004 no Democratic party candidate filed. Pearce defeated a Libertarian candidate 10,212 to 1685. There aren’t that many Libertarians in Johnson County, but a significant number of Democratic voters weren’t going to cast their votes for Pearce. In 2006 Pearce defeated Jeff Alvarado 6405 to 2708 with a different Libertarian candidate getting 448 votes.

Anthony Arton, a University of Central Misouri student, is a former president of the College Republicans at Central, served as a legislative intern [pdf] for David Pearce, and is the student member [pdf] of Central’s Board of Governors. He grew up in Warrensburg. Arton switched from the republican party to the Democratic Party in August 2007.

Jeff Alvarado ran a small (and under financed) campaign in 2006 – at times he must have felt like he was tilting at windmills. Alvarado is retired from the Air Force. He lives in Warrensburg.

Jim Jackson is a former Mayor of Warrensburg. For close to 25 years he owned an operated an appliance store in downtown Warrensburg (the store was destroyed by a lightning caused fire a few years ago). He has been active on a variety of boards and in community issues.

In the interest of full disclosure: I participated extensively in Jim Jackson’s 2002 campaign.

Rumors abound about republican candidates. From “no one, yet” to notorious Johnson County Clerk Gilbert Powers.