JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (CN) – Another high-ranking Missouri Republican official has apparently committed suicide. Spence Jackson, media director for state Auditor Tom Schweich, who killed himself in February, was found dead Sunday. He was 44.
Authorities found Jackson’s body in his apartment. They also recovered a revolver, a spent cartridge and a note in Jackson’s apartment, Jefferson City Police Capt. Doug Shoemaker said.
Shoemaker refused to reveal the contents of the note. “We are looking at this clearly as a suicide investigation,” the captain told reporters during a news conference Monday.
Schweich, a Republican frontrunner for governor, committed suicide on Feb. 26.
Schweich had complained about campaign tactics from fellow Republican candidates in the primary before shooting himself.
After Schweich’s death, Jackson called for the resignation of Republican state chairman John Hancock, who was accused of starting a whispering campaign falsely claiming that Schweich was Jewish.
Though he said there is no reason to believe the two suicides are related, Shoemaker told reporters that Jefferson City police have brought the case to the attention of Clayton police handling the Schweich investigation.
Jackson had been Schweich’s media director since May 2011. He also served as Matt Blunt’s communications director when Blunt was secretary of state and worked for Blunt’s campaign committee in 2004 during Blunt’s successful run for governor.
“Spence was a gifted communicator who dedicated his talents in public affairs to public service,” Blunt said in a statement. “Over his career he served as chief spokesman for three of Missouri’s statewide offices. … Spence was hard-working, well-liked and quick-witted. he will truly be missed. We mourn his passing and offer our prayers to his family and friends.”
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