Jefferson City, MO – Lloyd Smith the Executive Director of the Missouri Republican Party has announced his intention to seek the Republican 8th Congressional District committee’s nomination. In an email sent to committee members at 3:06 p.m. Friday December 28th Smith declared his intention to ask for the committee’s nomination and cited his discussions with his family and touted his long history working both for the Republican Party and the 8th district itself. Smith is a native of East Prairie in Mississippi County in southeast Missouri.
Smith previously served as the chief of staff to the late Congressman Bill Emerson and continued serving the 8th district as chief of staff to Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson. He also worked on the campaigns of former Senator Jim Talent and President George W. Bush. Before joining Emerson’s staff he was involved with Farm Bureau.
He left his role as chief of staff to Congresswoman Emerson in 2009 to become Executive Director of the Missouri Republican Party. Since assuming his role the party has maintained their majorities in the state legislature and also picked up the post of State Auditor currently held by Tom Schweich.
PoliticMO first reported earlier today that Senator Blunt, Lt. Governor Kinder and the entire Missouri republican congressional delegation signed a letter to state committee members in support of current chairman David Cole. However, Schweich’s name was not included on the letter.
While his years working for Emerson saw southeast Missouri change from a reliably Democratic area to one of the most conservative Republican areas in the county his time at the party has drawn some criticism. Some felt that the party hasn’t done as well in statewide elections as it could have, and some have criticized his feeling out a congressional campaign while on staff at the state party.
Senator Chuck Purgason who may also seek the nomination, in an interview with the SEMO TIMES was particularly critical stating, ““I completely support her decision to make a change there. He needs to go, the party needs change and only a real tested conservative can come in and do what needs to be done. I also am not fond of the person making a high wage to run the party running for congress while working there”
As of 10:59 p.m. Friday night the party’s website still listed Smith as Executive Director and no mention of the status of his current role was included in his email. Others who have publicly announced they were considering a bid include a leading candidate that many assumed Smith forgo a run in support, of perennial vote getter and Lt. Governor Peter Kinder. However, Joyce Karnes, moderator of the Republican 8th district candidate forum on January 10th has confirmed that both are scheduled to attend.
Other candidates who are actively pursing bids are Representative Jason Smith, Representative Todd Richardson, State Senator Jason Crowell, former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman, Cape Girardeau County Presiding Commissioner Clint Tracy, former Congressman Wendell Bailey, and former candidate Bob Parker.
Here is the complete email Smith sent to committee members Friday afternoon:
From: Lloyd Smith
Date: December 28, 2012, 3:06:56 PM CST
Subject: GOP Nomination- 8th District, US Congress
TO: Members of the 8th District Congressional Committee
FROM: Lloyd Smith
RE: GOP Nomination- 8th District, US Congress
DATE: December 28, 2012
After much prayer and discussion with my wife of 40 years, our friends, and family—especially my 3 grown children: Trista, Sam, and Tiffany—I have decided to seek the nomination of the 8th District Committee for the Congressional seat now held by Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson. In the coming days and weeks, I hope to talk with each of you about my hopes, dreams, and vision for the job of serving our district in the US House of Representatives. More importantly, I want to listen to you, the committee members, about what your concerns are for our district, state, and nation. Above all else, I want to answer your questions about my background, family, faith, philosophy of government, and political experience. I am truly committed to running and serving if selected as the GOP nominee.
As you and the entire committee move forward in this process, please feel free to call or email me with any questions you may have. I will be sending more information in the coming days, and I wish you and your family a Happy New Year.