Note left behind by Mo. auditor’s spokesman referenced the dread of unemployment
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The note left by the Missouri auditor’s spokesman before his apparent suicide said “I just can’t take being unemployed again.”
Jefferson City Police Capt. Doug Shoemaker said Tuesday that the note from Spence Jackson was dated March 27. Jackson was found dead Sunday in his Jefferson City apartment.
Jefferson City police scheduled a Tuesday afternoon news conference to talk about the note and release the preliminary findings of a medical examiner’s report.
His death came about a month after Jackson’s boss, state Auditor Tom Schweich, killed himself at his home in the St. Louis suburb of Clayton, just minutes after he told an Associated Press reporter that he wanted to go public with allegations that the head of the Missouri Republican Party had told some donors last year that Schweich was Jewish. Schweich, who was Christian but had Jewish ancestry, said he perceived the remarks as anti-Semitism.
The deaths of Jackson and Schweich, who was running for governor, have shaken Missouri politics — particularly the Republican Party — heading into an important 2016 election featuring races for most of Missouri’s top offices.
State Republican Party Chairman John Hancock has said he has no recollection of saying such things but has acknowledged it’s possible because he mistakenly believed Schweich was Jewish until Schweich told him otherwise last November.
Jackson, who had worked for Republican officeholders for some of the past two decades, was among the first to call for Hancock’s resignation after Schweich’s funeral. Hancock has remained as party chairman.
Jackson also had said Schweich was upset about a radio ad produced by supporters of his GOP gubernatorial rival, Catherine Hanaway, that mocked Schweich’s physical appearance and suggested he was a pawn of Democrats who would “quickly squash him like the little bug that he is” in a general election.
Hanaway suspended her campaign for a month following Schweich’s death, but resumed campaigning Friday. She said she directed consultants and staff not to have any additional involvement with outside entities involved in the governor’s race.