Mo. Auditor's Rep Kills Self Month After Boss Did: Cops

Robert 'Spence' Jackson found dead just weeks after auditor Tom Schweich
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2015 10:20 AM CDT
Mo. Auditor's Rep Kills Self Month After Boss Did: Cops
Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich announced his candidacy for governor Jan. 28, 2015, in St. Louis, just a few weeks before he reportedly killed himself.   (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

A strange, tragic story just got even stranger and more tragic: The spokesman for Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich—a gubernatorial candidate who killed himself Feb. 26 just minutes after arranging interviews with the media—has apparently taken his own life, the AP reports. Jefferson City Police officers found Robert "Spence" Jackson, 45, dead in his home last night after family members became concerned he wasn't answering his phone. Police say no evidence of foul play was apparent and that they're treating the case as a suicide; an autopsy is being conducted today, the AP notes. Sources say Jackson had called in sick to work on Friday, KTVI reports.

Jackson had recently called for Republican Party Chairman John Hancock to step down for allegedly running an anti-Semitic smear campaign against Schweich, which Jackson believes "had been weighing on Schweich for months" before his death, as puts it; Hancock has steadfastly denied these accusations. Before his stint with Schweich, Jackson had been in the employ of former Gov. Matt Blunt when Blunt served as Missouri's secretary of state and as governor. "Spence was a gifted communicator who dedicated his talents in public affairs to public service," Blunt said in a statement, per KTVI. "He was hard-working, well-liked, and quick-witted. He will truly be missed." (More Missouri stories.)

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