ST. LOUIS – There were several speeches and forums over the weekend at the Missouri Lincoln Days from candidates ranging from the municipal level to statewide, but come the fall, the most important event at Lincoln Days may have been a closed door meeting with all 12 candidates for statewide office where they all agreed to endorse the Republican ticket after the primaries.
According to two sources who were in the meeting, Missouri Republican Party Chairman John Hancock began setting the meeting up a couple weeks ago with the goal of assuring everyone would come together as a united front in the fall.
While some arrived late to the meeting, in attendance were candidates for governor Peter Kinder, Catherine Hanaway, John Brunner, and Eric Greitens. Also in attendance were lt. governor candidates Mike Parson and Bev Randles, secretary of state candidates Will Kraus and Jay Ashcroft, attorney general candidates Kurt Schaefer and Josh Hawley, and treasurer candidates Eric Schmitt and Dan Brown.
One source said that the meeting was very cordial and affable, and the biggest debate was whether the group would meet for breakfast or lunch. They went around the room and one-by-one each candidate made a firm commitment to endorse the winner of the primary if it was not themselves.
Sources say that the post primary meeting will be the Thursday after the primary in St. Louis, and hosted by Hancock, where all of the candidates that lost will endorse their opponents.
“Very encouraged by the level of commitment by everyone in the room,” Hancock would only say when asked for comment.
Rachael Herndon was the editor at The Missouri Times and also produced This Week in Missouri Politics, published Missouri Times Magazine, and co-hosted the #MoLeg podcast. She joined The Missouri Times in 2014, returning to political reporting after working as a campaign and legislative staffer.
Rachael studied at the University of Missouri – Columbia. She lives in Jefferson City with her husband, Brandon, and their two children.