The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

July 22, 2012

Susan Redden: Ice cream, watermelon on campaign menu for Carthage event

JOPLIN, Mo. — The Carthage Lincoln Ladies’ ice cream social is a pre-election tradition for Republican candidates and supporters from the Jasper County area.

The gathering set for tonight in Carthage has even more going for it during this scorcher of a summer, said Jenny Mansfield, a longtime member of the club.

“It’s inside, and you get to eat ice cream,” said Mansfield, who will serve as emcee for speeches by Republican candidates on the state and Jasper County ballots on Aug. 7. Contested races in the county are for Eastern District associate commissioner, sheriff, treasurer and coroner.

The social, which starts at 6 p.m. at Carthage Memorial Hall, always attracts a big crowd and a good turnout among candidates. Speeches will start at 7 p.m.

Mansfield said she has printed about 400 sample ballots. Those attending will be allowed to cast ballots in a straw poll or take them home for more study.

“A lot of people will take them so they know what’s on the ballot and can learn more about the candidates,” she said. “The poll is very unofficial because anyone who’s there and wants to vote is allowed to, including the kids. It’s something they need to learn.”

Newton County Republicans will have a similar event at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 31, at Big Spring Park in Neosho. David Cole, chairman of the Missouri Republican Party, will be a guest, and candidates on the state and local ballots will speak.

Organizers are touting free ice-cold watermelon and bottled water for the gathering. The event will be moved to the Lampo Building in case of rain. Here’s hoping.

Endorsement, support

State Sen. Ron Richard, of Joplin, has endorsed fellow state Sen. Brad Lager in what is becoming an increasingly vitriolic race for the Republican nomination for Missouri lieutenant governor.

“While serving with Sen. Lager in the Legislature, I have seen his integrity, and I’m proud to support his campaign for lieutenant governor,” Richard said in a news release from the campaign.

Lager has raised more than $2 million for the campaign, including just over $968,000 for the quarter that ended June 30. David Humphreys, president of Tamko Building Products, Joplin, has given Lager $500,000. He used to support Republican Peter Kinder, the incumbent. An additional $385,000 has come from Rex Sinquefield, who has been active in statewide campaigns in support of school vouchers and aimed at replacing the state income tax with a sales tax.

Kinder raised $246,000 for the quarter and has totaled just over $4 million for the campaign. That includes local support of $2,500 from Gene Schwartz, company president, and K&S Wire Products.

In an extremely crowded race for lieutenant on the Democratic side, Susan Montee, former state auditor, leads the fundraising field with $315,000.

Veto session

Richard and state representatives from the region met Tuesday in Joplin with Tim Jones, speaker-elect of the Missouri House of Representatives. Jones said he is traveling throughout the state to visit with legislators before the General Assembly’s veto session in September.

He said his goal is to override all of Gov. Jay Nixon’s vetoes of bills passed this year by the Legislature. At the top of the list, he said, are a measure that would reinstate the collection of local sales taxes on vehicles bought out of state and what he called the “conscience” bill. That measure would prohibit discrimination against medical professionals who refuse to provide contraceptive services or perform abortions if it conflicts with their personal views. It also would bar employers from being required to provide contraception as part of an employee’s health coverage.

“We had good majorities on everything, and my first inclination would be to go for overrides on all of them,” Jones said. “I’ll be checking with bill sponsors to see if they feel differently on any of them.”

Susan Redden is a staff writer for the Globe. She can be reached at sredden@joplinglobe.com or 417-623-3480, ext. 7258. Follow her on Twitter @Susan_Redden.

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