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Secretary of State: Jay Ashcroft

Written by: Mileah Metcalf

The Missouri Girls State delegates had the honor of meeting Missouri’s Secretary of State, John (Jay) R. Ashcroft, in Thursday's eighth assembly. Jay Ashcroft was born and raised in Jefferson City and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in engineering management from what is now known as Missouri University of Science and Technology. After about 10 years of working in and teaching engineering, Ashcroft set his sights on law school and after graduating with a degree in law from St. Louis University School of Law he began his journey into government. After moving his way through St. Louis County politics, Ashcroft won the 2016 statewide election and was appointed Secretary of State.

As Secretary of State, Jay Ashcroft has a wide variety of responsibilities. The office is responsible for collecting, compiling, storing and publishing a variety of state documents. The Secretary of State, as keeper of the Great Seal of the State of Missouri, authenticates official acts of the governor. In addition, the Secretary of State serves as the chief elections official in Missouri. Missouri Secretary of State - IT [n.d.]

In Thursday’s speech, Ashcroft praised the room full of “integrity and character” and urged listening delegates to push beyond what both society and self-doubt tells them they “can and cannot do”. He mentioned two individuals who did just that. George Washington Carver and Annie White Baxter, both of whom not only stood up for themselves in a truly racist and sexist time period, but used their personal strengths to pave a path for future individuals who might wish to advance the world scientifically and politically. As his speech came to a close he quoted Edgar Albert’s “It Couldn’t Be Done” and challenged the audience to “fulfill” the potential all MGS delegates possess so that they might one day “make a difference”.

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