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Missouri Democrats, Republicans change convention approach over coronavirus


Both the Missouri GOP and Democratic Party have altered their approach to the upcoming conventions over coronavirus concerns. 

The Republican State Committee’s executive committee met via conference call on March 16 and unanimously voted on a new plan, which included the cancelation of county caucuses. Instead, the County Republican Central Committees will hold a phone meeting on April 4 to vote on delegates and alternates to the Congressional District Conventions and State Convention, the party said in an email Tuesday. 

“The Missouri Republican Party is committed to protecting the health and well-being of Missourians. We are following the lead of President Trump, Governor Parson, and our local officials in working to halt the spread of this dangerous virus,” Kay Hoflander, the Missouri Republican Party chair, said. “The situation we face is both unprecedented and rapidly changing, and we believe that altering our caucus process is the responsible and prudent thing to do.” 

The Congressional District Conventions are still scheduled for May 30, and the State Convention planned for June 20. 

Similarly, the Missouri Democratic Party approved emergency measures related to its caucus process on March 15. The party suspended delegate selection proceedings until May 30, a seven-week postponement. For now, the meetings are still scheduled to be in-person, but the party said it will allow them to be virtual if needed. 

Congressional conventions scheduled for April 30 have been moved to May 30. Additionally, the State Convention had been scheduled for June 20 in Kansas City, but the party said it will most likely be moved to a different date and held in mid-Missouri. 

“The Missouri Democratic Party is committed to doing everything we can to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and well-being of Missourians,” Jean Peters Baker, the Missouri Democratic Party chair, said. “[T]he Missouri Democratic Party approved significant changes to our convention schedule which will allow us to conduct essential party business while lowering the risk of coronavirus transmission.” 

More about the emergency provisions approved by the Missouri Democratic Party can be found on its website

Out of the 215 individuals tested for COVID-19 in Missouri, eight cases have been confirmed. Gov. Mike Parson has declared a state emergency as businesses, schools, churches, and certain government operations shutter across the state to prevent the spread. 

There have been more than 4,000 confirmed cases in the U.S., and 75 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

EDITOR’S NOTE: For up-to-date information on coronavirus, check with the CDC and DHSS.