COLUMBIA, MO – Retired U.S. Navy Commander James Musgraves announced today his candidacy for State Representative of House District 50, a newly drawn district that includes the southside of Columbia. Rep. Sara Walsh is running for United States Congress and will not seek reelection to her State House seat.
“First, I would like to thank Rep. Sara Walsh for her years of service to our district, and for all of the personal sacrifices she has made for the people of our state,” said Musgraves.
“Throughout my career in the United States Navy, I have always held to the principle of ‘service above self.’ That is the creed I have lived by my entire adult life and that is the creed that I will carry with me to the capitol.”
Musgraves is a Missouri native who enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1986. While serving, he was awarded a NROTC scholarship which he used to earn a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Missouri in 1993. Following graduation, he was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Navy and attended flight training, earning his “Wings of Gold” as a Naval Aviator in 1996. He retired from the Navy as a Commander in March 2019. Musgraves also holds a M.S.Ed. in Educational Leadership and an M.S. in Human Performance Technology, both from the University of West Florida.
Musgraves said the following on his decision to seek office:
“I originally joined the Navy because I felt called to serve. I do not consider myself a politician, but I feel that during these times, active engagement in our political process is not just necessary but required. I feel like the best way I can continue to serve our community and our state is to head to Jefferson City to fight for accountable, responsible government. That is why I am running for State Representative.”
As a veteran with over 31 years of active service, including two combat tours in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, Musgraves earned several honors including three Meritorious Service Medals, an Air Medal for combat operations in Iraq, and four Navy Commendation Medals. Since retirement, he has remained committed both to his alma mater and to protecting veterans’ interests. He serves as President of the Mizzou Military Veteran Alumni Association and is a member of UM Chancellor’s Military and Veterans Standing Committee and Executive Committee.
Musgraves’ legislative priorities focus on keeping government responsible. He wants to keep taxes low, while maintaining and supporting important services like law enforcement, and promote a strong education for our students. Musgraves also seeks effective state fiscal policy that prioritizes infrastructure and public safety.
James and his wife of 33 years, Theresa, have two sons: Justin (32) and Jacob (29). Justin serves in the Navy and will soon be a commissioned officer and Jacob is a manager at Walmart.