The spokesman for Missouri gubernatorial candidate Tom Schweich, who committed suicide earlier this month after an anti-Semitic “whisper campaign,” was found dead in his apartment Sunday, Politico’s Nick Gass reports.
Police are reportedly investigating the death of Spence Jackson as a suicide. Jackson had worked as Schweich’s media director since 2011, and had also served as the spokesman for former Governor Matt Blunt.
Earlier this month, he called for the resignation of Missouri Republican Party Chairman John Hancock, who he believed was responsible for the “whisper campaign” that led to Schweich to take his own life. He said it would only be “fitting” for him to resign, “simply because his anti-Semitic whisper campaign does not reflect the values of the majority of Missouri Republicans.”
Hancock confessed to telling people that Schweich — who was a practicing Episcopalian, but who had a Jewish grandfather — was Jewish, but insisted that it was only because he honestly believed he was. It was not, Hancock insisted, intended to denigrate him.
Jackson disagreed, telling Missourinet’s Mike Lear that “I believe with all my heart that John knew what he was doing, He knew the reaction he was seeking from people. He knew what he was trying to get out of people.”
Former Governor Blunt issued a statement this morning, saying that he was “deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Spence Jackson who was a good friend for many years. Spence was a gifted communicator who dedicated his talents in public affairs to public service. Over his career he served as chief spokesman for three of Missouri’s statewide offices including that of the governor when I held that post. 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.”
Watch a report on his death via KSDK below.