Bottom headline: St. Louis Dispatch, 1/25/2023
From the Dispatch:
The timing of the hearings so early in the Legislature’s annual session reflected the priority Missouri Republicans have placed on addressing controversial culture war topics ahead of the next election. Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, a Republican weighing a bid for governor in 2024, testified in favor of House legislation to ban transgender girls from girls sports, suggesting it was a matter of fairness.
“The science is clear,” Ashcroft said. “I’m not saying that men are superior to women, but genetically men have a better bone mass. They generally have stronger muscle mass. They’re generally faster. They’re generally stronger.”
His appearance at the legislative hearing drew sharp criticism from Democrats.
“This is not in the realm of what your office does,” said Rep. Peter Merideth, D-St. Louis. “I’m seeing you here, and that suggests maybe it’s actually about the fact that you’re running for governor.”