The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

July 29, 2012

Susan Redden: Primary campaigning nears 11th hour

JOPLIN, Mo. — This is the week for political endorsements, appearances and last-minute politicking as the Aug. 7 Missouri primary approaches.

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., will appear alongside St. Louis businessman John Brunner today and meet with area residents at Granny Shaffer’s Restaurant, 2728 N. Range Line Road. The public event is set for 8 to 9:30 a.m.

Coburn endorsed Brunner earlier in the race.

Last week, Brunner’s campaign announced that it had received the public backing of state Sen. Ron Richard, R-Joplin, and state Rep. Tom Flanigan, R-Carthage.

Both cited Brunner’s private-sector experience and successful business growth as factors in their endorsements, and both said having Brunner in the U.S. Senate would spawn policies to boost the economy.

Brunner is running against U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo.; Sarah Steelman, a former Missouri state treasurer; and five other Republicans for the chance to challenge U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, the Democratic incumbent, in November.

Also this past week, the campaign of Ed Martin, who is seeking the GOP nomination for attorney general, was touting an endorsement by Christopher “Kit” Bond, former U.S. senator and Missouri governor.

Anyone from the area who wants to meet personally with candidates on the GOP ballot will have plenty of opportunities this week.

Candidates for U.S. senator, governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general and state treasurer will be among the featured speakers at the annual free watermelon feed put on by the Republican Women of Newton County and the Newton County Republican Central Committee. The event is set for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Big Spring Park in Neosho.

Candidates for offices in Newton County also will speak, and watermelon and water — both cold — will be served. Those attending are asked to provide lawn chairs.

A forum featuring Republican candidates for Missouri secretary of state is set for 6 p.m. Wednesday in Corley Auditorium, Webster Hall, at Missouri Southern State University.

Scott Rupp and Bill Stouffer, both members of the Missouri Senate, have confirmed they will attend. State Rep. Shane Schoeller, another Republican, also is on the primary ballot.

Eli Yokley of PoliticMO.com will be the moderator. The event is sponsored by the Missouri Federation of Young Republicans on the MSSU campus.

On Thursday, a second “Meet the Candidates” forum will be staged by the Southwest Missouri Conservative Network. The event will focus on GOP candidates on the statewide ballot. Those confirmed thus far include Dave Spence, a candidate for governor; incumbent Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, who is running for re-election; and Rupp and Stouffer, both running for secretary of state.

The gathering will start at 6 p.m. at the Continental Banquet Center behind Granny Shaffer’s on North Range Line Road. Residents will meet and talk with the candidates until 6:30 p.m., when speeches will begin. Those attending will have an opportunity to question the candidates.

According to their campaign websites, Joplin appearances are scheduled this week for two more candidates.

Fred Sauer, a GOP candidate for governor, is to be at the Hilton Garden Inn, 2644 E. 32nd St., from 6 to 7:30 p.m. today. Akin will be at Granny Shaffer’s on North Range Line Road from 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday.

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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