Jay Ashcroft didn’t seek out a life in public service. It was a calling that sought him.
The journey begins in Jefferson City, where Ashcroft spent his formative years. As the son of strong and devoted parents, he was raised in a conservative home centered on their family’s Christian faith.
Despite being part of a family with a history of lawyers and political experience, Ashcroft decided that neither would be a path for him. He decided to pursue an engineering career instead.
After high school, he attended Missouri S&T in Rolla and received both undergraduate and master's degrees.
He would soon traverse to St. Louis and go on to teach classes at St. Louis Community College. His wife Katie made a significant decision—one that ultimately led to a pivotal inflection point in his own life.
She decided to attend law school at St. Louis University. Piqued by her decision, Ashcroft joined her in this pursuit.
The next few years were anything but easy. Ashcroft was not only attending law school but he was also continuing to teach classes at the community college. As if their life wasn’t crazy enough, he and his wife soon welcomed their first child.
Ashcroft graduated and went on to practice law in the St. Louis area.
Then came another inflection point.
One night, Ashcroft decided to attend a political fundraiser that was taking place in the St. Louis area.
At this function, there was a conservative influencer working to recruit someone to run for the state’s 24th Senatorial District.
Naturally, Ashcroft was approached. Touched by the request to run, he declined, reaffirming his stance on not seeking public office.
That would soon change.
As the date for the primary election got closer, Ashcroft decided to give the race a second look. He noticed that there wasn’t a true conservative that entered the race. Recognizing that the people deserved to have that option, he decided to throw his hat in the ring.
So on the last day of the filing period, he and his wife drove down to Jefferson City to fill out the necessary paperwork. Ashcroft had officially entered the arena.
He went on to win the Republican Party’s nomination, but fell short against Jill Schupp in a tough general election.
After the campaign ended, Ashcroft set up a new committee to help organize his expenses.
He’ll be the first to tell you that he thought his political career was over after that election, and that setting up this new committee was only established to tie up his campaign’s loose ends.
The people of Missouri saw it differently. They soon started to urge Ashcroft to run for office again and consider a variety of offices.
Surveying the candidates for statewide office, Ashcroft found that he could support some of the individuals running for each position.
Well, not all of them.
There wasn’t anyone conservative enough running for Secretary of State, he thought. As it turned out, he wasn’t the only one that thought so. A trusted colleague was also looking at the race.
Ashcroft decided that he would run only if that individual decided against it.
Fate intervened and after much prayer and deliberation, Ashcroft got in the race and captured the party's nomination.
Ashcroft liked his chances this time around. From his perspective, his views and values were more reflective of the state as a whole compared to when he ran for the state’s 24th senate district.
He still had to put in the work, though, and that he did. He put over 70,000 miles on his car going to events all over the state.
His hard work paid off, and Ashcroft became Missouri’s 40th Secretary of State.
Thus far, Ashcroft has found much success in his role as the state’s chief election officer. He credits that success to hiring talented people and removing roadblocks that prevent them from doing their jobs.
By empowering his team, his office has become a well-oiled machine.
Ashcroft understands that a free society isn’t possible if people don’t know the law, so he’s made it a priority to make the elections process as transparent as possible. The results speak for themselves as he has successfully orchestrated every election during his time in office.
Even the ones that ran during a global pandemic. While some states had serious problems conducting elections during this arduous time, the same could not be said of Missouri.
Ashcroft and his team were cool under pressure and seamlessly facilitated the municipal, primary and general elections. Even more impressive, is that his office conducted the most successful Presidential Preference Primary in the state’s history.
Ashcroft’s successes don’t stop at conducting elections. He’s also been working to make his office’s operations more efficient.
Last year, he spearheaded legislation that would allow audio and visual tools to be utilized in the notary process. It was signed into law and has made a positive impact on businesses everywhere in the Show-Me State.
Currently, he’s working on changing the state’s statutes to make it easier for businesses to set up computer software needed for their daily operations.
Ashcroft also has been a thought leader for educational reform. For the past three years, he has organized a Legislative Education Retreat. This retreat provides an opportunity for legislators from all over the country to convene and discuss a variety of topics within the field of education. Experts from all over the country join these elected officials for constructive discussions about school choice, amongst many others.
Ashcroft has considered his time in public service a true blessing. He feels incredibly honored that the people of Missouri have put their faith in him to make positive and consequential decisions on their behalf.
He has stepped up when needed and has delivered when required.
And he’s not done yet.
Election reform, initiative petition reform, and making changes that prevent Supreme Court Justices from “legislating from the bench” are some of his priorities moving forward.
He knows that these changes can’t be achieved alone and he has offered guidance as to how the next generation can help him advance the conservative cause. Staying informed about the day’s most pressing issues and getting involved in campaigns are two of the most tangible ways to start making an impact.
Every day, Ashcroft has gone to work with a mission to better serve the lives of Missourians and to advance the conservative cause.
He is the epitome of what it means to be a CONSERVATIVE CHAMPION.
We learned about Secretary Ashcroft’s accomplishments through the grassroots community. We know that there are others out there like him, but we can’t find them by ourselves. We need YOUR help.
Know someone like Secretary Ashcroft who’s fighting for a better Missouri? We want to know about them. Want to share their story. Click HERE to nominate a CONSERVATIVE CHAMPION today!