Brunner Meeting With Team Schweich?
Multiple sources tip that John Brunner will be meeting soon (one says today) with folks from Team Schweich (one says chief of staff Trish Vincent).
The expectation among these folks is that Brunner may be the preferred candidate for the Schweich loyalists.
Aside from the emotional boost it would give a potential Brunner bid, there is the matter of Schweich’s remaining $1 million campaign war-chest – and keeping those dollar out of the hands of a rival.
With the benefit of a few weeks since the Schweich tragedy, there seems to be a coalescing of the narrative. First, the lack of any credible account of John Hancock mentioning Tom Schweich’s Jewish heritage together with reports of Schweich’s seemingly erratic and obsessive behavior lead most observers to view Schweich’s suicide as the result of some mental collapse.
While the majority of observers seem to be gravitating to this conclusion, there’s still a faction of Republicans who are clearly hardened in their Anti-Hancock, anti-Catherine Hanaway position.
This faction is a minority, but it does mean that Hancock is unable to united the party; and also that Hanaway even if she were to win the nomination, might face defections in the General Election.
There’s no easy way out for Republicans.
How badly does Hanaway want to be governor? If she were to bow out, Brunner – backed by Team Schweich – would still have a primary, but he or another nominee would emerge with the full rank and file Republicans behind them in November.
One tipster emails that the Missouri Republican Party’s finances are so dire at the moment that state committee members are being asked to help out by making contributions to keep the party solvent… We’ll see…
Nixon Auditor Interviews
Rumors are that the governor’s office has been interviewing many candidates to fill the Auditor’s job. Among the names mentioned as having gone through some sort of review are former Minority Leader and current Nixon staffer Jeff Harris, and St. Louis City Treasurer Tishaura Jones.
Meanwhile it’s said that both the Black Caucus and the Missouri Women’s Leadership Council have met and put forward lists of names that they’d like the governor to consider.
One name presumably on both lists would be Assistant Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty.
Dems’ Senate 1 Problem
While discussion about 2016 tends to focus on the statewide slates of the two parties, one of the Democrats’ bigger problems is in Senate 1. That’s where Sen. Scott Sifton – after a hard-fought victory in 2012 over Jim Lembke – is vacating for an attorney general bid.
Sifton is paired with St. Louis Assessor Jake Zimmerman in a primary for that seat. Primaries give Dems heartburn – and so one rumor has Nixon offering one of them the auditor slot to alleviate it.
But that doesn’t solve the problem in Senate 1. Most Dems I speak to are less than optimistic about the chance of former Rep. Vicki Englund, or Rep. Genise Montecillo being able to hold the seat against the possible Republican candidacy of Rep. Marsha Haefner. Democratic Rep. Jeanne Kirkton – who might be the best candidate for Dems – reportedly is not interested in running.
The best case scenario would involve the intervention of Attorney General Chris Koster. He would tell Sifton to check his ambitions, sign on for another term in the Senate. And when he’s running for re-election for governor in 2020, he’ll exert every level of power and persuasion to give him a primary-free shot at one of the statewide slots.
Today upon adjournment the legislature takes off a week for Spring Break. This start to session has been without many fireworks in the building. Is there a dearth of the grand personalities who normally provide exciting moments in floor debate? Are we lacking some deep grudges made public? What is it, something’s missing this year…
Perhaps it was the Schweich tragedy that sucked the energy away from the normally spirited politics.
Jo Mannies has a nice write up on Mayor Francis Slay’s 60th birthday party/fundraiser which featured well-wishes (via video) from Vice President Joe Biden. See it here.
KC Star reports on Crosby Kemper suffering indignities in the governor’s office. Read it here.
Rodney Hubbard added MGT.
Ward Cook and John Cozad added United for Missouri.
Scott Swain added Missouri State Troopers Association.
Joseph Treadway deleted Missouri Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.
MO Drive Fund - $25,000 from Drive Committee.
Happy birthday to Kim Becking.