Emerson's chief of staff named director of Mo. Republican Party

Sunday, February 22, 2009

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The longtime chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson has been named the new executive director of the Missouri Republican Party.

The selection of Lloyd Smith as the party's new director was ratified Saturday as Republicans gathered for their annual Lincoln Days conference. Smith plans to begin work full time April 1.

He will succeed Jared Craighead as executive director.

Smith, of Sikeston, Mo., has worked for 28 years for either Emerson or her late husband, U.S. Rep. Bill Emerson. Smith also served as campaign manager for former senator Jim Talent and as a senior campaign adviser for President George W. Bush.

Smith said his top goal is to keep Republican control of the seat held by outgoing Sen. Kit Bond in 2010.

"Lloyd has been an excellent leader for our team, and he will make a great executive director for the Missouri Republican Party," Jo Ann Emerson said in a written statement. "He understands the politics of our state as well as the public policy we need, and I know he is highly motivated for this new challenge."

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