|Address||8390 Delmar Suite 218 |
St. Louis, Missouri 63124, United States
|| August 24, 1949
Jun 28, 2015 03:08am
|Info||Robert Lee "Bob" Holden, Jr. is an American politician of the Democratic Party who is best known as a former Governor of Missouri. |
Though he was born in Kansas City, Missouri, Holden was raised on a farm in the Ozarks near Birch Tree. He attended a one-room school and earned his bachelor's degree in political science at Missouri State University (then known as Southwest Missouri State), where he was a member of the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity. He also attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where he took courses specifically tailored for government executives. Holden met his wife Lori Hauser Holden during his first campaign for the Missouri General Assembly and together they have two boys, Robert and John D.
From 1983 to 1989, Holden was a member of the Missouri House of Representatives. Holden served as State Treasurer from 1993 to 2001 and as governor from 2001 to 2005.
In the 2000 gubernatorial election, Holden narrowly defeated Republican Jim Talent. Holden was inaugurated as Governor in January 2001. His inauguration was the most elaborate and expensive in state history. The ceremony cost $1 million, of which $125,000 was paid from state government funds. Although Holden's inauguration ceremony received public financing equal to that of Missouri's previous two Governors, a perception that the inauguration was overly extravagant emerged and became a theme in opposition to his administration.
Holden was a member of the National Governors Association and was elected chair of the Midwestern Governors’ Conference which led the Midwestern states’ efforts to stimulate the economy by focusing on education and research. He also chaired the Governor’s Ethanol Coalition and represented fellow Governors on the National Medicaid Reform Task Force. Holden repeatedly defended Missouri's Medicaid program from cuts by the Republican legislature. In 2001, Holden called a special session to create Missouri's Senior Rx Program. Holden was pro-gun control and vetoed a concealed-carry bill passed by the Missouri General Assembly, citing the defeat of a previous ballot issue that would have allowed concealed weapons. This, however, was short-lived because his veto was overridden by both the Missouri General Assembly and Senate and the concealed-carry bill passed into law in 2003. Several Republican legislators who had initially voted against the bill, including Michael Gibbons of Kirkwood, switched sides to override Holden's veto. Holden favored greater spending on state elementary and secondary education. At one point in his term, he called the state legislature back into session after they had recessed for the year to ask for more state funding for education, but they refused additional monies.
In 2004, Holden was challenged by Democratic State Auditor, Claire McCaskill, for the office of Governor. McCaskill successfully tapped into broad-based disgruntlement with Holden that prompted even some Democrats to call him by the unflattering moniker "OTB" (One Term Bob). After Holden's approval rating steadily dropped during the second half of his term, McCaskill defeated Holden in the Democratic primary, marking the first primary loss for a sitting governor in nearly two decades. Despite McCaskill's victory, however, she was criticized by some Democrats for accepting campaign contributions from Anheuser-Busch, who had pulled their support for Holden after he vetoed a concealed weapons bill passed by the state legislature.
McCaskill was beaten in the November 2 general election by Republican Secretary of State Matt Blunt.
Holden now teaches management and political science courses at Webster University. On May 10, 2006, Holden was present for the event kicking off the Holden Public Policy Forum at Webster University. The Forum describes itself as "a bi-partisan speakers series that will bring Governors, Senators, presidential candidates and private sector public policy leaders to St. Louis and the Webster University Old Post Office campus."