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Missouri House Democrats vote to expel Rep. Sarah Unsicker from caucus over 'hateful' behavior

Missouri State Rep. Sarah Unsicker, D-Shrewsbury
Tim Bommel
Missouri House Communications
Missouri State Rep. Sarah Unsicker, D-Shrewsbury

Missouri Rep. Sarah Unsicker, D-Shrewsbury, faced widespread criticism in recent weeks for her social media activity, including posing for a photo next to an alleged Holocaust denier.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — House Democrats voted on Thursday to expel state Rep. Sarah Unsicker from the caucus, saying she has failed to live up to the party’s values of “inclusiveness, tolerance and respect.”

Unsicker, who until recently was running for attorney general, has been under fire from her own party for weeks following a series of social media posts that included a photo of her with a right-wing activist that the Anti-Defamation League lists as a Holocaust denier.

Both Unsicker and the activist in question refute that he is a Holocaust denier, but Unsicker was stripped of her positions on House committees because of the association.

Her critics grew louder earlier this month after she said on social media that she was forwarding a “criminal complaint” to the Missouri secretary of state’s office alleging a Jewish candidate for attorney general and his family failed to register as foreign agents for Israel.

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft released a statement on Monday regarding the complaint, saying his office has not been provided with any evidence “that even remotely relates to Missouri election interference.”

Unsicker also drew criticism for a post published on her Substack that questioned whether former Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich’s death was really a suicide and former state Rep. Cora Faith Walker’s death was really due to a heart condition.

Democratic state Rep. Keri Ingle of Lee’s Summit said Unsicker’s actions and words “have helped propagate hateful, anti-Semitic and conspiratorial and racist rhetoric which has hurt people and sparked online harassment campaigns.”

In a statement released Thursday, House Minority Leader Crystal Quade of Springfield and six members of the Democratic leadership team said Unsicker is “free to choose her associations, but the caucus enjoys that same freedom.”

“As a result,” the statement read, “House Democrats today voted to end (their) association with Rep. Unsicker by expelling her as a caucus member.”

On her Substack, Unsicker posted her prepared remarks to the caucus in advance of the expulsion proceedings.

“I believe the charges against me are a character assassination from a wing of the party that I want nothing to do with,” she wrote. “I do not believe anyone is being honest about the reasons they want to remove me from the House Democratic Caucus.”

This story was originally published by the Missouri Independent, part of the States Newsroom.

Jason Hancock has been writing about Missouri since 2011, most recently as lead political reporter for The Kansas City Star. He has spent nearly two decades covering politics and policy for news organizations across the Midwest, and has a track record of exposing government wrongdoing and holding elected officials accountable.
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