Kurt Schaefer

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Kurt Schaefer
Sen. Kurt Schaefer Missouri Politician.JPG
Member of the Missouri Senate
from the 19th district
In office
Preceded by Chuck Graham
Succeeded by Caleb Rowden
Personal details
Born (1965-10-27) October 27, 1965 (age 52)
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Stacia Schaefer
Residence Columbia, Missouri, U.S.
Alma mater University of Missouri
Profession Lawyer

Kurt Schaefer (born October 27, 1965) is a former Republican member of the Missouri Senate, representing the 19th District from 2009–2017.[1] In 2016, Schaefer ran against Josh Hawley for Missouri Attorney General,[2] but was defeated for the Republican nomination in the August 2 primary.[3]

Early life[edit]

Kurt Schaefer grew up in Town and Country, Missouri, where he was the youngest of five siblings. He moved to Columbia, Missouri in 1983. Schaefer began playing bass guitar at the age of 13, and he continued to play through his time in college. He was part of the band Third Uncle that played gigs in clubs around Columbia in the mid- to late-1980s. Schaefer also worked at Columbia music venue The Blue Note. Schaefer graduated from the University of Missouri in 1990 with a B.A. degree in geography, and he earned his J.D. from Vermont Law School in 1995.[4][5]

Legal career[edit]

Kurt Schaefer began his legal career as an assistant attorney general under then Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon from 1995 to 1999.[6]

Schaefer practiced law as a partner in the law firm of Lathrop & Gage LLP since 2007, focusing on litigation, environmental, health care, administrative, business and public utilities law.[7]

Under Republican Governor Matt Blunt, Schaefer served as general counsel and deputy director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, special counsel to the Governor, special counsel to the Missouri Department of Agriculture, Missouri assistant attorney general and special assistant United States attorney general.[8]

Among other career highlights, Schaefer oversaw the emergency response and cleanup of the destruction caused by AmerenUE’s Taum Sauk Reservoir failure in December, 2005, negotiating a settlement for the state’s natural resource damages of Johnsons Shut-Ins State Park valued at $179 million.[9]

Political career[edit]

In 2002, Schaefer sought a nomination as a Democrat by the 13th Circuit Democratic Committee for a judicial position.[10] Subsequently, he ran for office as a Republican.

Kurt Schaefer was elected to represent the 19th Senate District of Missouri in 2008 in a hotly contested election where he defeated incumbent Democratic Senator Chuck Graham.[11] In the Senate, Schaefer serves as the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and serves on the Senate Committees on Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence and Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy and the Environment.[12]

In 2016 Kurt Schafer ran for the Republican nomination for Attorney General of Missouri but was defeated by Josh Hawley, he finished second with 36% of the popular vote.

Legislative History[edit]

Schaefer has been accused of using his position on the Appropriations Committee of the State Legislature to strong-arm political opponents. The former President of the University of Missouri published a letter claiming that Schaefer pressured him not to permit opponent, Josh Hawley, a leave of absence to run.[13] The letter claimed Schaefer also pressured him to deny Hawley tenure.[14] A Sunshine Law request was made to the University of Missouri by Washington, DC special interests supporting Hawley to determine if Schaefer threatened to lower the University’s funding if they encouraged Josh Hawley, a law professor at the University of Missouri, to run against him.[15] Multiple Sunshine Law requests made to the University of Missouri attempting to collect Hawley's emails regarding using taxpayer resources and time to prepare a run for office were met with threats of lawsuits by the Hawley campaign.

Schaefer proposed a budget for 2016 that would put in place necessary, cost saving reforms to in state welfare and some public assistance programs.[16]

In the legislature, Schaefer sponsored a measure dubbed Amendment Five that was approved by voters by an overwhelming margin in August 2014. The amendment enshrines in the Missouri Constitution an individuals right to bear arms and protects against potential actions taken by the state legislature to infringe upon that right.[17] A Missouri judge has ruled that the amendment permits felons to own guns.[18] While running for Attorney General in 2015, he chaired the "Sanctity of Life Committee" in the Missouri senate.[19] This committee was formed in reaction to the Planned Parenthood 2015 undercover videos controversy, though the Missouri Attorney General found no evidence of illegality in Planned Parenthood's actions.[20] In August 2015 the committee requested testimony from the MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin regarding the associations between the University of Missouri and Planned Parenthood. After this testimony Loftin withdrew the university from 10 agreements with Planned Parenthood where medical students could complete clinical hours and terminated, and terminated the "refer and follow" privileges of a Planned Parenthood doctor in Columbia, which made the local clinic unable to legally perform abortions in Missouri.[21][22] Shortly after these events the dean of the school of medicine resigned.[23] Following this in November 2015, Schaefer also attempted to curtail a graduate student research project examining the effects of Missouri's abortion laws which require a three-day waiting period after initial consultation before an abortion can be performed. Schaefer sent a letter to the MU Chancellor's office claiming the research violates a ban on using state money to "encourage abortion", though the research project is unfunded and receives no state funding.[24][25][26]

Schaefer also proposed a bill (SB 248) that permits religious student organizations on college campuses to receive public funds though they refuse to abide by the non-discrimination clause regarding sexual orientation.[27]


He and his wife Stacia have three children: Maximilian, Wolfgang, and Lena, and live in Columbia, Missouri.


  • Official Manual, State of Missouri, 2009-2010. Jefferson City, MO:Secretary of State.
  1. ^ http://www.columbiatribune.com/local/politics/election_2012/19th_senate_district/still-schaefer-offer-sharp-contrast/article_f2a9bc23-d233-53ec-8b9c-8618d2724fc0.html
  2. ^ Keller, Rudi. "Sen. Kurt Schaefer plans run for Missouri Attorney General". Columbia Daily Tribune. 
  3. ^ Jordan, Gerron. "Schaefer concedes to Hawley in GOP race for Attorney General". KTVI Fox 2 News St. Louis. 
  4. ^ http://www.themaneater.com/elections/2008/11/4/races/19th-district-state-senator/kurt-schaefer/
  5. ^ http://www.columbiamissourian.com/news/schaefer-brings-tenacity-ambition-to-second-state-senate-campaign/article_e7804a7d-928a-5d41-8379-c051c198aabc.html
  6. ^ http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/politics/sen-kurt-schaefer-plans-run-for-attorney-general/article_3f490faa-2081-11e3-9b77-10604b9f6eda.html
  7. ^ "Kurt U. Schaefer". Lathrop & Gage. 
  8. ^ "Kurt U. Schaefer". Lathrop & Gage. 
  9. ^ "Kurt U. Schaefer". Lathrop & Gage. 
  10. ^ http://www.columbiatribune.com/local/politics/election_2012/19th_senate_district/still-schaefer-offer-sharp-contrast/article_f2a9bc23-d233-53ec-8b9c-8618d2724fc0.html
  11. ^ "Kurt Schaefer: Growing Momentum". The Missouri Times. 
  12. ^ "Senator Kurt Schaefer Biography". Missouri State Senate. 
  13. ^ http://www.joplinglobe.com/news/local_news/eli-yokley-did-state-lawmaker-put-pressure-on-mu-to/article_774876c4-9778-5ce4-ac21-cd375ee24361.html
  14. ^ http://www.joplinglobe.com/news/local_news/eli-yokley-did-state-lawmaker-put-pressure-on-mu-to/article_774876c4-9778-5ce4-ac21-cd375ee24361.html
  15. ^ http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/politics/elections/sunshine-law-requests-for-um-records-target-schaefer-hawley/article_1f0a7099-c7a9-5fb8-90ff-0aa115e3a0cd.html
  16. ^ http://www.news-leader.com/story/opinion/2015/04/14/missouri-senate-budget-plan-crisis-making-poor/25777863/
  17. ^ http://ballotpedia.org/Missouri_Right_to_Bear_Arms,_Amendment_5_(August_2014)
  18. ^ Patrick, Robert; Stucky, Alex (28 February 2015). "St. Louis judge permits a felon to own a firearm, citing newly-enacted Amendment 5". St Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved 3 March 2015. 
  19. ^ http://www.senate.mo.gov/15info/comm/interim/SISL.htm
  20. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/30/us/planned-parenthood-fetal-tissue-missouri.html?_r=0
  21. ^ http://www.columbiamissourian.com/news/local/state-investigation-focuses-on-decades-old-relationship-between-mu-planned/article_de825b18-5bd9-11e5-b5d3-8b294f78e0ba.html
  22. ^ http://www.themaneater.com/stories/2015/11/11/planned-parenthoods-future-mu-unclear-after-loftin/
  23. ^ http://www.columbiamissourian.com/news/higher_education/mu-school-of-medicine-dean-resigns/article_455d0cb4-5b05-11e5-bb04-53e558462d58.html
  24. ^ https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/11/12/missouri-state-senator-seeks-to-block-university-of-missouri-students-dissertation-on-abortion-regulations/
  25. ^ http://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2015/11/11/gop-lawmaker-attempts-to-stop-grad-students-research-on-restrictive-abortion-law/
  26. ^ http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-wp-blm-missouri-comment-6c361dc8-8ca4-11e5-934c-a369c80822c2-20151116-story.html
  27. ^ http://www.senate.mo.gov/15info/bts_web/Bill.aspx?SessionType=R&BillID=1174594

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