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Jim the Wonder Dog: The New Face of Missouri?

Plus, Ed Martin, the former opponent of Ballwin's Ann Wagner, picks up the endorsement of former attorney general John Ashcroft.

This column took note That effort was all well and good, but it pales in comparison to an effort to enshrine Jim the Wonder Dog as the official historical state dog of Missouri.

For those who may not know, Jim the Wonder Dog was an amazing canine from Marshall, MO. Legend has it that Jim the Wonder Dog could understand multiple languages and correctly guess the winner of sporting events. And according to former Columbia Tribune photographer Jenna Isaacson Pfueller, the dog had human-like eyes.

Rep. Joe Aull’s legislation was referred to the House Committee on Tourism and Natural Resources. And while there’s legitimate competition for the designation, Jim the Wonder Dog fans can take solace that the amazing pooch has already been honored with a statue in Marshall.

Ashcroft endorses Martin, Romney

When this column last mentioned former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft,

At the time, Wagner was running against Ed Martin. And

Now that Martin is no longer running against Wagner, the St. Louis City attorney is receiving Ashcroft’s blessing. The former state auditor, attorney general, governor and U.S. Senator officially backed Martin’s bid against Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster.

"I have known Ed for years and seen firsthand his work for our state and his great love for his family and concern for their welfare," Ashcroft said in a statement. "Ed's commitment to the rule of law is important. His executive governmental responsibilities and his legal experience as a clerk of the federal district court together with his years as a private sector lawyer eminently qualify him for service as Attorney General of Missouri."

Martin is running against Livingston County Prosecutor Adam Warren to decide which Republican will face Koster. Unlike his previous race, in which Wagner soaked up most of the endorsements, Martin is receiving backing from dozens of elected officials and activists.

Ashcroft, by the way, also threw his support behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. He said in a statement that “no other candidate stands out for his executive leadership experience or ability to accomplish difficult tasks as does Mitt Romney.”

Early Risers

While filing continues through March 27, some state Senate races are beginning to take shape.

Two candidates, former state Rep. Gina Walsh and Florissant resident Redditt Hudson have signed up to run as Democrats in the race to replace state Sen. Tim Green (D-Spanish Lake).

, including St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley. The district is heavily Democratic, which means the winner of the primary is likely to become Green’s successor.

One contest that’s more unsettled is in 1st District in southern St. Louis County. Lembke has yet to file for re-election and has told various media outlets that he may not run in the reconstituted district.

In the meantime, two Democrats, former Reps. Sue Schoemehl (D-Oakville) and Michael Vogt (D-St. Louis), have signed up to run as Democrats.

Meanwhile, Sen. Eric Schmitt (R-Glendale) and Senate Majority Leader Tom Dempsey (R-St. Charles) filed to run for re-election in their respective districts. Schmitt’s new district includes a swath of southern and central St. Louis County, while Dempsey will continue to represent a portion of St. Charles County.

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