Missouri Republican Party

State Sen. Kurt Schaefer, left, and professor Josh Hawley came out swinging in their campaigns for the Republican nomination for attorney general.
official photos

Updated Saturday, June 25:  Missouri’s Republican contest for attorney general – long this year’s  nastiest battle in the state  – has gotten so bitter that the two combatants already are running vicious attack ads six weeks before the Aug. 2 election.

Kurt Schaefer's new ad accuses Josh Hawley of providing legal help for “a terrorist,’’ while Hawley’s ad features Schaefer repeatedly referring to himself as “a moderate.”

Each candidate claims the other is intentionally misrepresenting the facts.

A vintage photo of an elephant walking.
Wikimedia Commons

When Missouri Republicans gather this weekend in Branson for their once-every-four-years convention, the focus won’t be just on presidential delegates.

Much of the attention will center on the party’s core beliefs, and what issues it deems most important, as GOP candidates from Donald Trump on down appeal to the public for votes.

Known as the “party platform,’’ the thick document gets into the nitty-gritty on everything from same-sex marriage – the GOP opposes it – to gun rights, immigration and tax issues.

Republican Presidential candidate Dontald Trump points to protesters that he tells to "get out," during his speech at the Peabody Opera House in St. Louis on March 11, 2016.
Bill Greenblatt I UPI

Just days after Ted Cruz’s Missouri backers scored local victories over Donald Trump, the Cruz camp is mulling its next move now that Cruz has dropped out as a presidential candidate.

But Missouri congresswoman Ann Wagner, a Republican from Ballwin who had backed Cruz, is mincing no words about Trump – who she is not ready to endorse.

“I have no intention of supporting Hillary Clinton, now or ever,” Wagner said in an exclusive interview. “However, I’m like any other voter. A candidate has to earn my vote. And thus far, Donald Trump has not.”

The battle between supporters of Ted Cruz, left, and Donald Trump for Missouri's Republican delegates is not over.
Wikipedia images

Missouri state Sen. Bob Onder exemplifies Donald Trump’s worst nightmare.

Onder, R-Lake St. Louis, hopes to get elected Saturday as a delegate from the 2nd Congressional District to this summer’s Republican presidential convention. But Onder is a supporter of GOP hopeful Ted Cruz, while all the 2nd District delegates will be bound to Trump, who carried the district and Missouri during the state’s March 15 presidential primary.

“If I am chosen on Saturday to go to Cleveland, on the first ballot, I’ll be voting for Donald Trump,’’ Onder said.

Chance Bedell and Stephanie Weidner hand out stickers to attendees before the start of an ice cream social at Lincoln Days.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

When it comes to any issue, from abortion to tax cuts, Missouri’s four major Republican candidates for governor admit there’s little daylight between them.

All support gun rights and pledge to put in place a “right to work” law restricting union rights. All oppose abortion and promise to block any settlement of Syrian refugees in Missouri.

Their only key disagreement — laid out at this weekend’s Lincoln Days festivities -- is which is the strongest Republican to take on the likely Democratic nominee, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster.

Hillary Clinton St. Louis union Dec. 11 2015
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Instead of presenting a policy address, as initially billed, Hillary Clinton delivered the political red meat Friday night that her supporters crave.

“I’m going to defend our civil rights, women’s rights, gay rights, voting rights, workers rights,” the Democratic presidential hopeful declared to hundreds packing a St. Louis union hall.

The crowd’s cheers turned into a roar when Clinton added, “I will defend a woman’s right to choose! And I will defend Planned Parenthood!”

presidential candidates 2016
Wikipedia

With Missouri’s presidential primary just four months away, the state’s Republicans are already pumped up.

And Missouri Democrats are hoping to follow suit.

DonkeyHotey | Flickr

Embattled and accused of being irrelevant, Missouri’s two major political parties are beefing up their operations nonetheless in preparation for next year’s high-stakes elections.

That’s particularly true for the state’s Democratic Party, which already has taken on two staffers charged solely with assisting the party’s likely nominees for governor and the U.S. Senate: Chris Koster and Jason Kander.

Schweich launches his campaign for governor on January 28, 2015
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated at 10:45 p.m. to reflect that confirmation  of the suicide occurred  on Tuesday, not Wednesday.)

Clayton police say they may never know why Tom Schweich killed himself in February.

The department confirmed Tuesday that Schweich, the state auditor and a Republican candidate for governor, shot himself in the head with a .22-caliber handgun on Feb. 26. His wife, Kathy, was the one to call 911.

Republican GOP - RIGHT WIDTH - also avail. gopelephantleft
Wikipedia

Prominent Republican donor David Humphreys has revised his sworn affidavit that initially accused Missouri GOP chairman John Hancock of making an anti-Semitic remark about state Auditor Tom Schweich, adding a new element to the internal GOP battle that has raged since Schweich's Feb. 26 suicide.

Sen. Roy Blunt at Lincoln Days 2015
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated 10:30 p.m.  Saturday)

Kansas City - President Barack Obama has Democratic company – just-announced U.S. Senate hopeful Jason Kander – as Missouri Republicans’ favorite verbal punching bag.

That was evident throughout this weekend’s annual Reagan-Lincoln Days, held this year in Kansas City.

Wikipedia

Missouri Republican activists will signal their first 2016 presidential preferences by participating  in a straw poll this weekend during the party’s annual Lincoln Days festivities.

This year, the event has been renamed “Reagan-Lincoln Days’’ in honor of Ronald Reagan, who was president in the 1980s.

The unscientific straw poll is among the activities aimed at energizing the hundreds of party faithful expected to attend the three-day event in Kansas City.

Ed Martin talks about his work as chairman of the Missouri Republican Party, and his new job as president of the Eagle Forum with 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh  on Feb. 12, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio file photo

Ed Martin may be leaving his position as Missouri Republican Party chairman, but he’s still toeing the party line. Martin is now the president of Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum, a conservative interest group.

Ed Martin 2012
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Beacon | file photo

Just weeks before a divisive Missouri GOP fight, state Republican Party chairman Ed Martin has announced he will not seek re-election. Instead he plans to take over as the new president of Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum, a longstanding conservative group.

But Martin’s announcement may not clear the path for John Hancock, a fellow St. Louisan and prominent political consultant, to take over as state party chairman.

Republican sources say that Eddy Justice, the party chairman in Dent County and of the 8th congressional district, is considering a bid for the top party post.

File Photo

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Potential 2016 presidential hopeful Rand Paul scanned the packed ballroom of fellow Republicans, most of them older and white, and declared Saturday that their party’s makeup needs to change if the GOP is to have any hope of recapturing the White House.

“We need a bigger party. We need a party that looks like America,’’ said Paul, currently a U.S. senator from Kentucky, during the closing banquet for the Missouri Republican Party’s Lincoln Days festivities, held this year in Springfield.

Jo Mannies/St. Louis Public Radio

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The Missouri Republican Party has endorsed the proposed “Right To Farm” constitutional amendment set for the November ballot.

The official support is aimed, in part, at promoting GOP ties to the proposal, which some Republicans believe will boost turnout by rural conservative voters this fall – and that could help all GOP candidates.

Jo Mannies/St. Louis Public Radio

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. –  From U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt on down, Missouri Republicans at the party’s annual Lincoln Days festivities are full of confidence about their chances at the polls this fall and in 2016.

And the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,’’ is getting much of the credit.

“If this disaster doesn’t help us take control of the Senate, it will surprise me,” said Blunt, who sparked several ovations at Friday night’s opening banquet of the weekend gathering, held this year at the University Plaza Hotel in Springfield, the senator's home turf.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Missouri Republican Party chairman Ed Martin and executive director Shane Schoeller flew to Washington this week to meet privately with Missouri’s seven GOP members of Congress to lay out their party-building activities and ease some concerns about the state party's dramatic decline in donations.

Ann Wagner in her D.C. office
Robert Koenig | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON -- The frustrations of freshman members of Congress are well documented, as most of the political big fish in their home districts suddenly find themselves reduced to mere guppies when they enter the seniority-ruled shark tank of the U.S. House.

But six months into her job, U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin, has become a player of sorts on Capitol Hill.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Republican Jason Smith won a decisive victory Tuesday in Missouri’s 8th District congressional contest, handily defeating Democrat Steve Hodges, a fellow state legislator.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

The Republican supermajority in the Missouri House inched up this week with the election of Republican Mike Moon of Lawrence County to the vacant House District 157 seat from southwestern Missouri.  Moon defeated Democrat and former House Member Charlie "Doc" Dake in what Republican Speaker Tim Jones described as a hotly-contested race.

(via Friends of Shane Schoeller)

A former southwest Missouri lawmaker has been chosen as executive director of the Missouri Republican Party.

Former state Rep. Shane Schoeller, of Willard, was selected Thursday to oversee the daily operations of the Republican Party.

Schoeller lost an election last November for secretary of state and previously served six years in the House, rising to the number two spot as House speaker pro tem.

He succeeds Lloyd Smith, who resigned last month as executive director to make an unsuccessful bid for Congress.

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio

In a narrow victory on Saturday, Ed Martin edged out incumbent David Cole to become the new Missouri GOP Chairman.

Many speculate David Cole was ousted because of the GOP's poor performance in statewide races, where the party lost five out of the six races, in spite of Republican Mitt Romney carrying the state by over 10 points. But it's worth noting that Martin chaired the Missouri GOP's Victory 2012 Campaign, which resulted in only one victory for the party.

This Week's Politically Speaking Podcast

Jan 3, 2013
Alex Heuer

We're back! It's the first Politically Speaking podcast of the new year.

St. Louis Public Radio's Chris McDaniel joins the St. Louis Beacon's Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum to discuss what's ahead in the rapidly approaching legislative session, who will be the Missouri GOP's next chairman and some personnel changes in the St. Louis mayoral race.

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter@jmannies

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

The start of the 2013 legislative session will mark a decade of Republican leadership in the Missouri Legislature.

It was in January 2003 that Republicans took complete control of both chambers. Since then, they have cut both taxes and government services.

(Office of Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson)

There will be no repeat of the big-dollar, negative primary that plagued Missouri's Republican Senate contest when GOP leaders meet next year to select a replacement candidate for retiring Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson.

That's because there will be no primary election at all - no chance for rank-and-file Republicans or Democrats to cast their votes.

Nominees will be selected by committees of party officials from southeast Missouri. Only then will one Republican and one Democratic candidate be submitted to voters in a special election.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated at 2:02 with McCaskill's finances.

In spite of repeated assurances that they wouldn't support Congressman Todd Akin's senate bid after his damning comments regarding "legitimate rape," the National Republican Senatorial Committee funneled $756,000 into Akin's campaign during the days before the election.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon spent his first term compromising with and sometimes challenging the Republican-led Legislature. But now Nixon faces supermajorities in both the House and Senate with enough Republicans to override his vetoes.

 Republicans will control 24 of the 34 Senate seats for the 2013 legislative session. House Republicans will have 110 of 163 districts. House Speaker Tim Jones says he hopes the new dynamic will prompt earlier discussion and negotiation between legislative leaders and Nixon.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Most of the Republican nominees for statewide offices in Missouri are touring the state together in a bus today and Wednesday.

The first stop was outside the GOP’s campaign office in Jefferson City.  Those onboard this morning included Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, who's seeking a third term in office; Secretary of State hopeful Shane Schoeller; Attorney General nominee Ed Martin; Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer, whose district will include Jefferson City next year; State Treasurer nominee Cole McNary; and the Republican hoping to oust Democrat Jay Nixon from the Governor’s office, Dave Spence.

(via John Brunner for Senate; file photo; Wikimedia Commons/U.S. House of Representatives).

Most of the people gathered outside of Washington University’s Edison Theater before a recent GOP Senate Primary debate already knew who they were voting for.  

But Shelby Hewerdine wasn’t sure yet.

So, she drove in from St. Charles to get a better feel for the character of each candidate.

“I don’t know how else people are going to look at it because they are very similar on the issues, so, we’ll see,” Hewerdine said.  

And during the debate, the three main candidates laid out basically the same policy platform. 

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