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Monday, May 2, 2016

Candidates state cases to replace Rep. Emerson

Friday, January 11, 2013

SALEM, Mo. -- They've heard from many who want the job during the past several weeks, but Thursday night inside Salem City Hall, members of a GOP candidate selection committee in Missouri's 8th district got a much closer look at 12 Republicans who want to be the next member of Congress.

The first of two forums for Republicans who want to run in a special election to replace outgoing U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson took about two and a half hours as speakers addressed six questions posed to each by the committee.

Standing before the committee and a full auditorium were:

* Wendell Bailey, a former Congressman.

* Jason Crowell, a former state senator.

* Peter Kinder, Missouri's lieutenant governor.

* Bob Parker, a former candidate for the district.

* Todd Richardson, a current state representative.

* Jason Smith, who is Speaker Pro Tem in the Missouri House.

* Lloyd Smith, executive director of the Missouri Republican Party.

* Pedro Sotelo, a Kansas City businessman and service veteran.

* Sarah Steelman, a former state representative and former state treasurer.

* Clint Tracy, presiding commissioner of Cape Girardeau County

* John Tyrrell, a Mountain Grove, Mo., attorney

* Wayne Wallingford, a state senator.

What the potential candidates shared with the audience didn't vary much -- none would vote "yes" for the fiscal cliff solution recently passed by Congress, as voted for by Emerson. All felt they had the chops to raise the amount the committee said a run for the office will cost -- between $200,000 and $300,000. None supported any form of gun control.

Only one, Sotelo, hinted during his answer he may support some form of stem-cell research. Also asked was how poverty in the district could be handled, and if candidates would put off decisions for later, which the committee doesn't want to see happen -- many said they wouldn't be the ones to "kick the can down the road."

Overwhelmingly, committee members were able to examine the personal styles, individual approach to issues and demeanor of those in the field.

"They are all good candidates, and all good Republicans," said Treena Heiney, a committee member who is vice chairwoman of the Texas County committee.

With what she saw Thursday, it will not be easy for her to choose, she said.

Crowell and Jason Smith, known in the Missouri Legislature for his rousing rhetoric, delivered again in front of the committee.

"Stop spending. Stop spending. Stop spending," shouted Crowell in his opening statement.

Jason Smith touched on his close ties to agriculture, and promised to vote only based on his own principle.

Kinder, speaking in a calm, easy manner, came to the forum to "humbly lay my appeal," to committee members. He said he wasn't there to attack his competitors as he mentioned his record of being elected.

"I do that by not ignoring the small counties," he said of carrying 109 of 114 counties in his last statewide race.

Committee members said after the forum the amount of public exposure and political experience was evident among the potential candidates. They praised Kinder, Lloyd Smith and Wallingford for being articulate. Others liked the more emotional and conversational styles shown by Steelman and Richardson, both of whom spoke about their conservative values when answering most questions.

At one point, Bob Parker's answer to a question elicited an "Amen" from someone in the room.

Eddy Justice, chairman of the committee, said since the potential candidates hold many of the same stances on issues, the ability to communicate is emerging as vital to gaining support.

"Personality and perception is huge in this because there is not a lot of difference in them all," he said.

Joyce Karnes, chair of the Dent County committee and moderator of the forum, said committee members know they have an important job to do, but she cautioned there remains a long road ahead.

The committee will host a second forum at 7 p.m. next Thursday at the Concourse Building in Cape Girardeau. Voting to select a candidate will take place during a February meeting in Van Buren, Mo. It will be scheduled after Rep. Emerson officially turns in her resignation.

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We certainly don't need candidates like this for this district.. it'd be worst in Congress.

-- Posted by Kennett_Resident on Fri, Jan 11, 2013, at 5:18 PM

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