Farmington, MO – Senator Kevin Engler is open to receiving the Republican nomination for the 8th district, but is not actively courting 8th District Republican committee members for their votes. “I am not going to go out and try to out tea party 6 or 7 other candidates in the field. If they want someone who can win a general election then I am willing to sit down and talk”, said Engler.
Engler served in the Missouri House of Representatives before winning election to two terms in the Missouri State Senate. He was elected to the Missouri House again this year representing Ste Genevieve and St. Francois counties. Engler has a reputation for pragmatism and seeking solutions stemming from his background as the former Mayor of Farmington where he was so successful that a city park was named Engler Park.
“I am interested in serving the people of the district, but I will not go out and sign pledges and make promises that I won’t agree to compromise. That is how our nation has gotten into this predicament in the first place. Our nation doesn’t need more people like that”, said Engler.
When asked if he plans on attending the forums for potential candidates to be held on January 10th in Salem and 17th in Cape Girardeau he stated, “I will probably go as a spectator but I don’t plan to sit in on the forums, no. It will be interesting to see how far to the right the field is willing to promise to be in order to get nominated”.
“I just don’t feel that there should be an litmus test on issues to be in this party. I think we have to think about how we bring people into the party who do not 100% toe a tea party agenda. We need to be thinking about how to grow our party not turn people off because they don’t fit into a tiny ideological box”, Engler concluded.
The forum in Salem on the 10th is sponsored by the Dent County Republican Central Committee. The chairwoman Joyce Karnes confirmed that 11 candidates have expressed their intention to attend including Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, Representative Jason Smith, Representative Todd Richardson, State Senator Jason Crowell, former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman, Republican party staffer Lloyd Smith, Cape Girardeau County Presiding Commissioner Clint Tracy, former Congressman Wendell Bailey, and former candidate Bob Parker.