Chaos in Missouri's GOP Caucus Process
St. Charles County caucuses sparked nationwide coverage.
Missouri’s first round of caucuses are now over, leaving behind a virtual trail of tranquility and chaos.
Chaos was the case in St. Peters, where the St. Charles County Republican Caucus ended without any delegates being allocated. The confrontational event became a national story, resulting in stories both on CNN and in the New York Times.
Because of that event, and other examples of confusion detailed in the national and local media, the GOP caucuses were generally perceived of being chaotic and unorganized. Former Sen. Jim Talent (R-MO) appeared on KSDK on Sunday, for instance, and described the process in a rather negative light.
So what happens next? For one thing, at least two more caucuses in Jackson County and St. Louis City on Saturday.
It’ll be interesting to see what unfolds this weekend in Jackson County, one of the most populous areas of the state and home to some Republican strongholds. Unlike St. Louis County, which executed its caucuses by township, Saturday’s meeting will be conducted in one place and at one time.
Patch reporter Joe Scott reported that there’s an attempt being made to reschedule the St. Charles County caucus, most likely in April. That would place the event close to the congressional caucuses in late April, a venue where delegates will actually be allocated.
The Post-Dispatch reported late Thursday that Republican leaders have decided to hold another caucus, but haven't decided when or where yet.
Eugene Dokes, the chairman of the St. Charles County Republican Central Committee, said in a statement posted on the Missouri Political News Service website that he is "working with the state party and with all the campaigns to find a solution to make sure that St. Charles County is represented at the congressional, state and national conventions. It is my highest priority to make sure that we will not lose any delegates."
St. Charles’ allocation could make a difference, mainly since it supplies a good chunk of delegates to the 2nd Congressional District and 3rd Congressional District.
The 2nd Congressional District is currently served by Rep. Russ Carnahan, who has filed to run in the 1st District against sitting Rep. William Lacy Clay. University City is in the 1st District.
Then again, the results may be academic at this point. With his resounding victory in Illinois, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney seems to be pulling away with the GOP nomination for president. But this election cycle has been rather unpredictable, so it remains to be seen whether this week's primary is actually a turning point.
This marks the second time in recent years Schweich decided not to run for Congress’ upper chamber. He had considered challenging then-Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Springfield) in the 2010 U.S. Senate but decided instead to run for state auditor. After beating then-House Budget Chairman Allen Icet (R-Wildwood) in the GOP primary, Schweich ousted incumbent Democratic state Auditor Susan Montee.
The three major Republican candidates in the race include Rep. Todd Akin (R-Wildwood), former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman and Frontenac businessman John Brunner. The winner will almost certainly face Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO).
Martin, McNary open up shop
Two St. Louis-area candidates for statewide office celebrated the opening of a new headquarters in Valley Park.
Rep. Cole McNary (R-Chesterfield) and attorney Ed Martin will be sharing a space at 932 Meramec Station Road in Valley Park. Martin is running for attorney general, while McNary is running for state treasurer.
Martin dubbed the structure the "Victory Fieldhouse," which seems to be a turn on his "Freedom Bunker" during his 2010 congressional campaign.
"Other state and local candidates were in attendance, giving their thoughts about the direction of the state and the nation," Martin said in an e-mail update. "We were all in agreement that President Obama has to go, and the power of his party has to be cut."
McNary is expected to face off against Democratic state Treasurer Clint Zweifel in the fall. Martin is running against Livingston County Prosecutor Adam Warren in the GOP primary. The winner of that race will face off against Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster.