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Schweich announces 2014 team, sparks more rumors about gubernatorial bid


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — State Auditor Tom Schweich issued a press release today announcing his full campaign team for his re-election bid in 2014, sparking more rumors that he eventually plans to run for Governor in 2016.

Schweich, who has no declared opponent yet, reinvigorated gubernatorial rumors as his campaign team is staffed with several heavy-hitting Republican party members that might not have otherwise been attracted to an unchallenged state auditor bid.

Sen. John Lamping, R-St. Louis, is serving as the campaign chairman. Senator Jack Danforth and Senator Jim Talent will serve as honorary chairs.

“It reflects the seriousness and purposeful intent of his campaign,” Lamping said. “He’s top of the ticket in ’14 and he knows if he can win by a wide margin it can only help the down ticket candidates. Tom realizes his leadership role, his success will translate in maintaining and possible expanding our majorities.”

State Auditor Tom Schweich
State Auditor Tom Schweich

Ambassador George H. Walker III, Congressman Jason Smith, State House Majority Leader John Diehl, former State Senator Jane Cunningham, Sheriff John Jordan of Cape Girardeau County, former Missouri Republican Party chairman Doug Russell of Lebanon, former Missouri Republican Party chairman Tom Fowler of Springfield, businessman Neal Ethridge of Springfield, attorney Bob Thompson of Kansas City, and Republican activist Susie Johnson of Camden County will serve as honorary co-chairs.

Ambassador Sam Fox, a Republican donor with deep pockets, will serve as Finance Chairman, and Joseph S. Passanise, an attorney from Springfield, will serve as campaign treasurer.  Karen Mohan Day and her team at Capital Enhancement are serving as fundraising consultants, according to the release.

Schweich has also contracted FP1 Strategies and American Viewpoints to handle media production and polling, respectively. Schweich’s release — which comes just one day after former House Speaker Catherine Hanaway announced her 2016 run for governor and heavily features Schweich’s biography and accomplishments in office — hints heavily that Schweich’s team will largely transition into a gubernatorial bid if he is successfully re-elected.