Q&A #1: Can Rural Missouri Get Even More Red?
Short answer: Yes. The trend is still underway.
In the news yesterday, Forrest Gossett of the Salt River Journal, reports: Monroe County Prosecuting Attorney Talley Kendrick announced Monday that she is running for re-election, and also that she is switching to run as a Republican after being elected as a Democrat. “I have always believed that to ethically and dutifully perform the duties of Prosecuting Attorney, it matters very little which party I belong to. My duty to justice and service surpasses any political affiliation and that will not change,” Kendrick said in a statement. “I have, however, made the decision to run in the 2018 election on the Republican ticket. This decision is consistent with my firm belief in the rule of law, my respect for those who enforce it, and the commitment I have to keeping Monroe County a safe place to live, work and raise families. I would like to thank the people who have met with me in the months leading up to this decision and have offered me counsel and support throughout.” Kendrick said that a key issue for her in making the change is the Republican Party’s approach to law enforcement. See it here.
This comes after news that Jason Lamb, previously elected prosecuting attorney as a Democrat, announced for Circuit Judge a few weeks ago for Audrain, Montgomery and Warren as a Republican.
I asked around to some politicos looking for their take on whether these were anomalies or part of a larger trend.
Here’s what they told me…
I think this is one of the great untold stories in MO politics. In the last 8 years Republicans have won hundreds of seats, and now hold nearly two-thirds of the 1,500 or so elected county offices… Still, I imagine switches are less likely to happen now than under Barack Obama, when being associated with him was absolutely toxic for rural Dems.
And: “It will happen from folks both for principled reasons about law enforcement and for political reasons like looking Trump-loving districts and the protests and thinking that looks like an easier path to winning…”
And: the Republican rural strategy has been “not to challenge old time incumbents, but just to flip every open seat. Typically, what happens is the Democrat has been there for 30 years and then his or her deputy runs to replace her. Well, nowadays, that deputy decides to run as a Republican. Monroe County is one of the last to change…”
Some (both Republican and Democrat) say the arrow could flip.
In this current climate though how many R's become D's in the next few years across the country?? Meaning, how much will they stand by a flawed candidate/party/potus to advance their political wishes?
And: I think there are still more Rs considering switching to Ds too with as fact-free and extreme as the Republican electeds have gotten…
Why It Matters
From one operative… “Some people don’t think it matters what party these folks are, but these courthouse officials are the ones setting up our Lincoln Day events and ice cream socials, putting up chairs and taking down tables… and hearing speeches from the folks up and down our ballot. When the circuit clerk was a deputy she never cared about statewide politics. Now she goes to the GOP meetings and then moves on to her Sunday School class and county cattlemen’s meeting to tell them to vote for Eric Schmitt, for example, because he’s for tax cuts like Trump, it’s a pretty important piece of the GOP machine statewide… This is also our bench for future candidates, our list of the best county coordinators for each statewide campaign, etc. This network is our secret sauce!..”
Trump to St. Charles
Besides all the Republican congressionals and statewides, also in attendance at President Donald Trump’s rally yesterday… Sens. Bill Eigel and Bob Onder, Reps. Chuck Bayse, Paul Curtman, Hannah Kelly, Glen Kolkmeyer, Shane Roden, Nick Schroer, Bryan Spencer, Nate Tate, Curtis Trent, and John Wiemann.
See Onder thanking Trump for “bringing back Merry Christmas” here.
Chesterfield Loses Suit
The City of Chesterfield lost its lawsuit claiming that the sales tax system in St. Louis County was a “special law” and therefore unconstitutional. See the ruling here.
Governor Eric Greitens appointed Eugene Todd to the St. Louis City Board of Elections.
Post-Dispatch reports on a battle brewing over CAFOs and the “Odor rule.” See it here.
Missouri State Treasurer Eric Schmitt on Fox Business News supporting Trump’s tax reform. See it here.
Axiom announces its media buying company… AxMedia, led by long-time Axiom veteran Sarah Hoeller. “Ax Media uses a data-driven approach to select optimal media platforms to reach specific target voters… AxMedia is unique in that the media buyers are in-house and in constant contact with clients and operatives on the ground, which enables them to make targeted, insightful media buys to reach particular audiences…”
House seeks Committee Records Specialist. “The House of Representatives is accepting resumes for the position of Committee Records Specialist in the Office of the Assistant Chief Clerk, House Procedures Division. This position serves as a records and process specialist to the chair of House standing, interim or special standing committees to ensure that proper procedures are followed and accurate committee records are maintained according to established House rules and procedures. The position requires a bachelor’s degree with one year of applicable legislative experience. Additional years of related experience may substitute for the required education on a year-for-year basis. Position also requires a general knowledge of House rules, procedures and established practices…” See it here.
Express Scripts seeks Senior Manager, State Government Affairs. “Responsible for directing ESI State Government Affairs activities, including: overseeing the legislative and regulatory activities in multiple New England states; coordinating grassroots programs; facilitating grasstops activities for ESI employees; planning and executing ESI employee days at the capitol; managing/hiring local counsel; participating in intergovernmental organizations; collaborating and partnering with ESI internal departments to clarify policy positions and assist in business development…” See it here.
From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable calendar:
Rep. Sarah Unsicker Reception – Cyrano’s – Webster Groves – 5:30PM.
Heath Clarkston, Harry Gallagher, Kurt Schaefer and Doug Nelson added Colonial Management Group LP.
Kurt Schaefer and Doug Nelson added Copart.
Ginger Steinmetz added John Bardgett & Associates, Missouri Cable Telecommunications Association, Missouri County Collectors Association, Statehouse Strategies LLC, Conduent Inc. and its affiliates, A.T. Still University, Barkley, Inc., Bayer U.S. LLC, BNSF Railway Company, Conservation Federation of Missouri, Developing Potential, Inc., Diamond Game, and Farmer Companies.
Jorgen Schlemeier and Sarah Topp added Board of Trustees of Boone County Hospital.
Citizens for Steve Stenger - $10,000 from Regional Progress PAC.
Citizens for Steve Stenger - $10,000 from The UP Companies.
Happy birthday to Alison Gee, Lara Granich, and Josh Schisler.