JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The GOP success in the last election continues to have an effect on Missouri politics, the latest episode featuring changes at the Missouri House Republican Campaign Committee.
Victory Enterprises announced this week that Emilee Lakin, who had served as the HRCC’s Finance Director, has joined their team as the Director of Business Development. Lakin’s husband Joe, also works for Victory Enterprises. The company cited her work in growing the Missouri House Majority during her six years with the organization, and House leadership said she would be missed.
“Emilee Lakin has been an outstanding member of our HRCC team and a key reason why we have a historic, record- setting conservative supermajority today,” Speaker Todd Richardson said. “We wish her nothing but the best in her new endeavor with our friends at Victory Enterprises.”
But it left a hole to be filled, and after searching, the HRCC believes they have found the right person to fill the shoes left behind by Lakin.
That person is Becky Willard. The St. Joseph native and University of Missouri graduate has an impressive resume, working for Pelopidas, LLC on fundraising campaigns for political candidates, issue advocacy organizations, and not-for-profits. She eventually went on to become the head of the firm’s fundraising and events division before departing in 2015.
She also served as a Deputy Campaign Manager for Senator Roy Blunt’s 2016 reelection campaign, overseeing the $16 million budget, finance program, and day-to-day operations, and continues to serve as Finance Director for Friends of Roy Blunt.
“House Republicans are very excited to welcome Becky Willard to our team,” Speaker Richardson said. “Becky is already established as a premier fundraiser in Missouri and she will play a tremendous role in leading HRCC and our majority to new heights.”
She joins Executive Director Robert Knodell and Political Director Casey Burns on the HRCC professional staff, her first day being Wednesday, March 1.
“I’ve known Becky for a decade, I’ve followed her rapid career advancement, and can say with certainty that she is the ideal person to successfully guide our HRCC fundraising in Missouri’s changing campaign finance environment,” Knodell said.
Willard lives in Columbia with her husband, Aaron—a former HRCC Executive Director and political director for the Trump campaign in Missouri, and their daughter Eliza.
Benjamin Peters is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine, and also produces the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined the Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield. To contact Benjamin, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.