The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

October 28, 2012

Susan Redden: Newton County GOP to gather on Saturday

JOPLIN, Mo. — Republican faithful will hold one last big gathering before the big vote with the annual ham and bean feed sponsored by the Newton County Republican Central Committee.

The event is set for 6 p.m. Saturday at Neosho Middle School, with U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, U.S. Rep. Billy Long and others to speak. Those attending also will hear Dave Spence, GOP candidate for governor, and Shane Schoeller, candidate for Missouri secretary of state. Blunt was an early backer of presidential candidate Mitt Romney who worked to line up congressional support for the former Massachusetts governor.

Presentations on statewide ballot issues will be made by Missouri Sen. Ron Richard and state Reps. Charlie Davis, Bill Lant, Bill Reiboldt and Bill White.

Republican Women of Newton County will hold a silent auction. Those planning to attend are asked to register by calling 623-2114 or at email@newtoncountyrepublicans.org.

If recent history is any indication, there will be a big turnout. Despite blistering heat, about 300 people turned out to the Newton County watermelon feed held just before the primary election in August.

NIXON HAS LAST WORD

In these days when the term “career politician” is used to disparage, Gov. Jay Nixon got in the last word on Thursday during an event when he accepted honors from Freeman Health System in Joplin.

In recognition of his work on behalf of the hospital and Joplin after the May 22, 2011, tornado, Nixon was named a Freeman Fellow, the seventh person in the history of the medical system to be so honored. In accepting the award, he noted longtime Sen. Richard Webster of Carthage was an earlier honoree, adding “it shows public service can make a long and lasting difference.”

Nixon is being challenged in the governor’s race by Spence, a St. Louis manufacturer who has never before held public office.

Webster, who served 42 years in the Missouri House of Representatives and Senate, was in the Senate when Nixon was elected to the body in 1986.

Nixon, a Democrat, said the Senate was less partisan then, and he had learned a lot from veteran senators such as Webster, a Republican, who earlier had been speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives.

Those were the days before term limits forced lawmakers to step down after eight years. Nixon laughingly recalled Webster once telling him “governors come and go; senators are here forever.”

GEN. CLARK ENDORSEMENT

State Rep. Jason Kander, of Kansas City, the Democrat nominee for secretary of state, announced last week that his campaign had been endorsed by Gen. Wesley Clark, former NATO supreme allied commander in Europe who is now retired.

Kander in his campaign has emphasized his background as a former Army captain who served in Afghanistan. He has criticized a voter identification initiative proposed by Schoeller, which he said would make it more difficult for soldiers serving overseas to be able to vote by absentee ballot. Schoeller’s bill also drew opposition from veterans groups during the legislative session.

Schoeller disagreed with the assertion, but said he would be willing to revise the bill language to address veterans’ concerns. The measure didn’t pass.

SANTORUM ENDORSEMENT

Former presidential candidate Rick Santorum announced last week that his Patriot Voices political action committee has endorsed two more congressional candidates in Missouri.

The organization, which earlier announced an endorsement of Todd Akin in the U.S. Senate race, is backing Vicky Hartzler, in her re-election race in the 4th Congressional District, and Ann Wagner, in the 2nd Congressional District.

A former Republican senator from Pennsylvania, Santorum won the Missouri GOP presidential preference primary earlier this year.

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