Committee members had passion for their candidates

Sunday, February 10, 2013

VAN BUREN, Mo. -- They stood and stated why their candidates should be chosen -- citing values, positions on issues, status and time in the party, their likability, or lack thereof.

Ten Republicans each nominated a candidate Saturday, but only some could stand by their choice through the morning and afternoon.

Gary Matheny, a committee member from St. Francois County, placed Bob Parker's name before the 84-person group first. He said he wanted Parker in Congress to help control the country's spending.

Then came nominations for John Tyrrell, a Mountain Grove, Mo., lawyer, and Todd Richardson, a state representative from Poplar Bluff, Mo. Richardson had won over Republicans in Dunklin County, according to committee member Patti Riggs.

Laird Kelly of Oregon County advanced Wendell Bailey, who had throughout the Republicans' nominating process advocated to be chosen so all others in the field could be weighed by voters instead of a committee in a 2014 primary election for the 8th Congressional District.

"We don't need to make losers out of these nine good people," Bailey told those gathered in the packed River Centre auditorium Saturday before six rounds of voting began.

Cape Girardeau County committee member Scott R. Clark nominated Scott Lipke, an associate circuit judge in Cape Girardeau. Clark said Lipke's hasn't been in the headlines, but he works hard.

"We need someone who understands the process," Clark said. "He is that man."

Janet Englebach, a Jefferson County committee member, nominated Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder. Englebach frankly stated Kinder deserved the nomination, and said she believed he would work the hardest to meet the district's needs without compromising Republican principles.

"You may not think he is the friendliest guy in town," Englebach said before referencing a statement by former president Harry S Truman. "If you want a friend, get a dog."

Bruce Valle, also from Jefferson County, collected a hug from the day's winner, Jason Smith, Missouri's House speaker pro tem, whose name he had placed into nomination.

Valle's sentiments about Smith before voting rounds began were echoed by committee members at times during the meeting.

Wayne Bowen, a committee member from Cape Girardeau, described Smith as the candidate in the field "on everybody's list."

"I heard from a lot of people during this. I got calls all the time about the candidates," Bowen said. "Nobody told me 'whatever you do, don't vote for Jason Smith.'"

The natural geography of committee members -- spread across 30 counties -- didn't slow Smith from garnering support from people like Joyce Karnes, a Dent County committee member who led the January candidate forum in Smith's hometown, Salem, Mo.

"Jason shined from the beginning," Karnes said after the nomination went to Smith. "He was just a very hard worker."

Many committee members did not reveal their votes, including Gail Cox from Carter County. Still, she was content with the result.

"It was hard to lose on this because there were so many good and qualified candidates," she said.

Through the six rounds of voting, Bowen said the question high among committee members was whether any of the remaining candidates would voluntarily "coalesce around one of the others."

Lloyd Smith was the only candidate to voluntarily leave the contest after several rounds.

In the end it came down to Jason Crowell, Peter Kinder and Jason Smith.

Two of the 86 committee members did not attend and did not cast votes.


Pertinent address:

Van Buren, Mo.

Map of pertinent addresses

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