8th District Republicans support mixed slate of presidential delegates

Sunday, April 22, 2012

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- Three delegates and three alternates who pledged to support Mitt Romney on the first ballot during the National Republican Convention were elected Saturday during the Republican 8th Congressional District convention in Poplar Bluff.

Three slates were nominated during the convention, which lasted nearly five hours. The other two slates were comprised of Rick Santorum and Ron Paul supporters.

Delegates from the 30 counties in the 8th District voted first on the three slates. Romney's slate received 120 votes, Paul's slate 95 and Santorum's slate 58.

On the second vote between the two slates with the most votes, Romney's supporters defeated Paul's supporters 158-114.

The three elected delegates are Scott Clark, Cape Girardeau County recorder of deeds; David Courtway of Jefferson County; and state Rep. Jason Smith of Rolla, Mo.

The three alternate delegates are Kathy Swan of Cape Girardeau, who is unopposed for state representative; state Rep. Shelly Keeney of Bollinger County; and John Kelly of Wright County.

Butler County delegates voted 14 for Romney and one for Paul. Corey Brown, who announced each vote from the Butler County delegation, abstained.

"I can't vote for Romney," Brown said.

Eleven counties voted unanimously for the Romney slate, and their delegates were Reynolds, 2; Shannon, 3; Oregon, 4; Ripley, Ozark and Madison, 5; Wayne, Bollinger and Ste. Genevieve, 6; Wright County, 9; and Jefferson, 18.

Four counties supported Paul unanimously, and their delegates were Mississippi, 2; Douglas, 7; Texas, 11; and Scott, 17.

Six other counties favored Romney over Paul, and the votes were Cape Girardeau, 25-9; Carter, 2-1; Crawford, 8-1; Dunklin, 8-2; New Madrid, 5-2; and Washington, 6-1.

Seven other counties favored Paul over Romney, and the votes were Stoddard, 13-1; St. Francois, 10-8; Phelps, 14-3; Perry, 6-1; Iron, 2-1; Howell, 9-6; and Dent, 6-1.

Pemiscot County did not elect any delegates to the district convention.

Eddy Justice of Poplar Bluff, who is serving his second year as 8th District Republican chairman and is the Butler County Republican chairman, was elected chairman of the convention. He was the only nominee.

Several people commended Justice for his leadership in securing the site and making all the necessary preparations for the convention.

"We have approximately 440 persons present," Justice said. The group included alternate delegates, visitors and members of the Poplar Bluff Police Department, who provided security.

Justice thanked everyone for helping to make the convention successful, including U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson of Cape Girardeau, who provided the lunch.

Holly Lintner of Cape Girardeau County was elected secretary. She defeated Jared Hall of Dent County 171-96.

A contest for selecting a presidential elector was decided by one vote.

Bob Green of Licking, Mo., defeated Richard Montgomery of Poplar Bluff 139-138.

"I appreciate all my good conservative supporters," Green said.

Montgomery said he appreciated being nominated by Jeff Shawan of Poplar Bluff.

"It would have been an honor to be selected. I am sure Mr. Green will do District 8 proud when he casts his vote for the Republican nominee for president," Montgomery said.

Butler, Bollinger, Oregon, Ozark, Ripley, Shannon, Wayne and Washington counties unanimously supported Montgomery while Stoddard, Texas, Scott, Madison, Mississippi and Douglas counties unanimously voted for Green.

Six other counties favored Montgomery: Cape Girardeau, 26-10; Carter, 2-1; Crawford, 7-2; Jefferson, 15-2; New Madrid, 4-3; and Wright, 8-1.

Six other counties supporting Green were Dent, 6-1; Howell, 10-6; Iron, 2-1; Perry, 6-2; Phelps, 16-1; and St. Francois, 15-4.

Delegations from three counties had tie votes -- Dunklin, 5-5; Reynolds, 1-1; and Ste. Genevieve, 3-3.

Janet Engelbach of Jefferson County served as temporary chairman for nearly two hours as the Paul supporters tried to not allow the 18 Jefferson County delegates to be seated at the convention. After several votes, the Jefferson County delegation was allowed to be seated. An amendment to exclude the Jefferson County delegation was defeated 171-88.

State Rep. Todd Richardson of Poplar Bluff welcomed everyone to Butler County.

"We have to make sure Barack Obama is a one-term president," Richardson said.

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