Jefferson City, MO – Wednesday night the three candidates vying to serve as chairman of the Missouri Republican Party, incumbent chairman David Cole, Senator Jane Cunningham, and former candidate Ed Martin, participated in an interview with state committee members.
Each of the three candidates were asked the same 9 questions and given a chance to respond. The call took most of the evening with over half of the state committee members participating.
A source on the committee who sat in on the call, gave the SEMO TIMES a rundown of what questions were asked including:
How do you plan to expand the party to reach out to women, African Americans, Hispanics, and libertarians?
Would your communication strategy with key members of the party be more top down or bottom up? What would you do to help prevent costly and divisive primaries?
With Missouri seen as a red state no longer as competitive in presidential elections and unlikely to receive national party funds, how would you make up the difference?
How would you have handled the Akin situation?
How would you help better define the Republican Party brand?
Why do you feel you would be the best person to serve as chair?
What do you feel the state party’s role is in local elections?
The day after the conference call, PoliticMO broke the story that the Senator Blunt, Lt. Governor Kinder, and all 6 members of the Missouri Republican Congressional delegation signed a letter to the members of the committee supporting Cole’s re-election.
State Auditor Tom Schweich’s name was not on the letter. One point of contention among the committee is the lack of success in statewide elections the party has had even as the state has trended more and more Republican. Schweich is the only candidate to take a statewide office previously held by a Democrat in the last several cycles.
The rules of the election are still to be determined. Some committee members are stressing that because of the pressure establishment elected officials have brought in support of Cole there should be a secret ballot. Other committee members have stressed that there should be a rule in place that whoever is selected should have to have a majority vote to be elected as opposed to a plurality. The committee will meet January 5th in Columbia to make the decision.