Martin Rucker

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Martin Rucker
Martin Rucker .jpg
Board member, St. Joseph Board of Education, At-large
Term ends
Board Vice President
Elections and appointments
Last electionApril 3, 2012
First electedApril 3, 2012
Next general2018
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Missouri House of Representatives
High schoolSt. Joseph's Central High School
Associate'sMissouri Western State University
Office website
Martin Rucker is an at-large member of the St. Joseph school board in Missouri.[1] He was initially elected to the chamber in 2012 and currently serves as the board's vice president. Rucker was previously a state representative and a Democratic candidate for District 34 of the Missouri State Senate.

St. Joseph School district is under state and federal investigations due to potentially illegal accounting and hiring practices by district administrators. The investigation is focusing on stipends issued by Superintendent Fred Czerwonka, who allegedly used a rebate from the district's insurance provider to give stipends to administrators without board approval. Additionally, Czerwonka, district human resources director Doug Flowers and school board member Dan Colgan also face accusations of using their positions to guarantee promotions within the district and raises for family members.

See also: Issues


Rucker graduated from St. Joseph Central High School and attended Central Wyoming College and Missouri Western State University. He currently works for the Silgan Container Corporation. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Trinity Missionary Full Gospel Church, the United Way Board of Directors and Inter-Serv Board of Directors. He also serves as a member on the Missouri Probation and Parole Board. Rucker is married and has four children. Two of his sons played professional football in the NFL.

Rucker was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 2004. During his term, he served as Deputy Whip of the Black Caucus and Rural Caucus. He was also a member on the Special Committee on Education Funding and served on standing committees for agricultural policy, appropriations-education and senior citizen advocacy. He was also an unsuccessful candidate for District 34 of the Missouri State Senate in 2010.[2][3][4]




Rucker was opposed by Dennis Snethen, Chris Danford, Hamilton Henderson, Lori Prussman and Walter Hanabury for one of three at-large seats on April 3, 2012.


St. Joseph School District, At-Large General Election, 6-year term, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngMartin T. Rucker 21.1% 6,712
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngChris Danford 19.1% 6,063
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngDennis Snethen 15.4% 4,896
     Nonpartisan Hamilton Henderson 14.3% 4,542
     Nonpartisan Lori Prussman 13.7% 4,344
     Nonpartisan Walter Hanabury 12.9% 4,116
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 3.6% 1,137
Total Votes 31,810
Source: Buchanan County, "Election Results 2012," accessed July 3, 2014


Rucker did not report any campaign contributions or expenditures to the Missouri Ethics Commission.[5]


See also: Missouri State Senate elections, 2010


Rucker ran for election in the 2010 election for Missouri State Senate District 34. Rucker ran unopposed in the August 3 Democratic primary election and was defeated by Rob Schaaf (R) in the general election, which took place on November 2, 2010.[6][7]

Missouri State Senate, District 34 General election (2010)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Robert Schaaf (R) 31,743
Martin Rucker (D) 23,483


Missouri-Stipend Scandal.jpg
Learn more about the scandal in
St. Joseph School District...
The story so far
The stipend scandal
The FBI probe
The rescinded suspension
The $2 million shortfall
The secret tapes
The ousted administrators
Key figures
Superintendent Fred Czerwonka
CFO Beau Musser
HR Director Doug Flowers
Trustee Chris Danford
Trustee Dan Colgan
St. Joseph School District
2014 school board election
2015 tax levy renewal
Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Missouri State Auditor

Investigations into accounting and hiring practices

St. Joseph School District faces investigations by the Missouri State Auditor, the United States Department of Education and the Federal Bureau of Investigation related to stipends issued by Superintendent Fred Czerwonka. The superintendent, appointed in July 2013, allegedly used a rebate from the district's insurance provider to distribute $270,000 in stipends to 54 administrators without board approval. District policy requires a report to the school board and a deposit of any excess funds including refunds from vendors. Czerwonka, district human resources director Doug Flowers and school board member Dan Colgan also face accusations of using their positions to guarantee promotions within the district and raises for family members.

The flashpoint for these allegations was a school board meeting on March 24, 2014. Chris Danford presented information she received from district residents about the stipends offered by Czerwonka. Beau Musser, the district's chief financial officer (CFO), also revealed that he received a list of stipend recipients from Flowers. Musser was placed on paid leave on March 28, 2014, after the superintendent presented him with several accusations of sexual harassment against district employees. The former CFO claims in a lawsuit against the district that Czerwonka offered to drop the harassment claims if he resigned from his position. During Musser's time as CFO, he found that the district could not account for 4,000 gallons of fuel, failed to follow bidding procedures for district vehicles and approved $189,000 in consulting fees without board approval.

About the district

St. Joseph School District is located in Buchanan County, Missouri
St. Joseph School District is located in St. Joseph, the county seat of Buchanan County, Missouri. St. Joseph is home to 77,147, according to the United States Census Bureau.[8] St. Joseph School District is the 17th-largest school district in Missouri, serving 11,377 K-12 students during the 2012-2013 school year.[9]


Higher education achievement

St. Joseph underperformed in comparison to the rest of Missouri in terms of higher education attainment. The 2010 U.S. Census found that 20.4 percent of St. Joseph residents over 25 years old held undergraduate degrees compared to a 25.8 percent rate for the state of Missouri.[8]

Median household income

St. Joseph had a median income of $42,248 in 2010 compared to $47,333 for Missouri.[8]

Poverty rate

The poverty rate for St. Joseph was 18.4 percent in 2010 compared to a 10.5 percent rate for the entire state.[8]

Racial Demographics, 2010[8]
Race St. Joseph (%) Missouri (%)
White 87.8 82.8
Black or African American 6.0 11.6
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.5 0.5
Asian 0.9 1.6
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.2 0.1
Two or More Races 2.7 2.1
Hispanic or Latino 5.7 3.5

Presidential votes, 2000-2012[10]
Year Democratic vote (%) Republican vote (%)
2012 44.4 53.2
2008 49.1 48.9
2004 46.9 52.2
2000 49.2 47.3

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[11]

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