Missouri Republicans have selected a new party leader, casting out chairman David Cole.
The Republican State Committee voted 34-32 to elect Ed Martin as the new state party chairman Saturday. Martin, of St. Louis, led Republicans' coordinated campaign efforts this fall and lost a bid for attorney general in November. He also served as chief of staff to Gov. Matt Blunt.
Cole is an attorney from Cassville in southwestern Missouri.
Republican leaders met Saturday in Columbia. A Missouri Republican Party spokesman says Martin was elected in the second round of balloting. Martin released the below statement in a press release issued by The Missouri Republican Party.
“Today’s competition was the sign of a vibrant and mature Party. Our success in electing Republicans across the state—in widening the tent—has created an influx of new ideas and energy , but it’s clear that there is still work yet to be done,” said Chairman Ed Martin. “I look forward to working with the members of the state committee, our volunteers, activists, and donors as we take our conservative message to Missourians from across the state and from all walks of life. Working together, I know we will protect what we have built and strengthen our Party in preparation for 2014 and beyond.”
Jane Cunningham of Chesterfield also sought the chairmanship. She did not seek re-election to the state Senate this year after losing her seat during redistricting.