Missouri Republican Party | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Republican Party

Gov. Eric Greitens speaks at Lincoln Days in Springfield, Missouri, on Feb. 25, 2017.
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Missouri’s top Republican leaders, who now control most of state government, said this weekend that it’s time to move past applauding the November victories. Rather, they exhorted supporters at their annual Lincoln Days festivities, it’s time for action.

 

“We won the election. Now, we have to win the agenda,’’ state Republican Party chairman Todd Graves told St. Louis Public Radio on Saturday. “It doesn’t do any good to be elected if we don’t implement the agenda.”

Todd Graves, the new chairman of the Missouri Republican Party
(Photo Provided by Todd Graves)

It’s been well documented that Missouri Republicans are in control of state politics.

The Missouri Republican Party has large majorities in the bicameral state legislature, hold all but one of the statewide offices, and are riding a wave of conservative sentiment that swept Donald Trump to the presidency on the national stage.

John Hancock Dec. 2016
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome back Missouri Republican Party Chairman John Hancock, as he prepares to leave that post in a few weeks.

Hancock, a former state legislator from St. Louis County and a political consultant, has been state chairman for arguably two of the most eventful years in the Missouri GOP’s modern history.

Todd Graves
LinkedIn

Updated Dec. 14 with Graves' comments — Missouri Gov.-elect Eric Greitens is naming former U.S. Attorney Todd Graves, now a Kansas City lawyer, as the new chairman of the Missouri Republican Party.

Graves is the brother of U.S. Rep. Sam Graves, R-Tarkio, and served as U.S. attorney for Missouri’s western district from 2001-2006, a post filled by then-President George W. Bush.

“Todd Graves is the governor-elect’s choice and he will make a fantastic chairman,’’ a Greitens spokesman said. Graves said in an interview that he's honored to take the job, particularly after the Missouri GOP did so well in the November elections.

Republican Presidential candidate Donald 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.
File photo, Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has tapped two veteran GOP operatives to head up his state operation.

Aaron Willard, who has held several key posts in the Republican-controlled General Assembly, is Trump’s new state director. Todd Abrajano, a consultant with similar GOP ties, is to serve as Trump’s communications director.

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 Donald 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.
File photo, Bill Greenblatt | 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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: On the national list of the U.S. Senate candidates who spent their own money last year, only three dipped deeper into their pockets than local businessman John Brunner.

Brunner spent $7.9 million in his unsuccessful Republican effort to win his party’s nomination and run against U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Friday is the last day of work for veteran Missouri Republican Party spokesman Jonathon Prouty, who is leaving to work for prominent area GOP consultant John Hancock -- now head of a new Ohio-based political research firm that’s already become a national political player.

Hancock, 49, says he plans on swiftly growing the Strategy Group for Research into “the largest and best Republican research provider in the country.”

(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.

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