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YAL sees victories in nearly half of its targeted Missouri primary races


Ahead of the Tuesday primaries, Young Americans for Liberty (YAL), a national conservative group, marked Missouri as its biggest target this year. And out of the 11 races it focused on, it saw victories in five. 

YAL’s official slate of 11 candidates in Missouri was: Bishop Davidson for HD 130; Will Perry for HD 148; Bryant Wolfin for HD 116; Ryan Jones for HD 115; Chris Beyer for HD 62; Michael Davis for HD 56; Chris Sander for HD 33; Tina Goodrick for HD 9; Brian Seitz for HD 156; Jaret Holden for HD 143; and Mike Moon for SD 29. 

Moon, Davidson, Davis, Sander, and Seitz won their seats Tuesday. 

“Young Americans for Liberty locked in five victories on Tuesday evening after establishment cronies in Missouri tried to run a smear campaign against YAL students,” President Cliff Maloney told The Missouri Times Wednesday. “YAL found out that the ‘Show-Me State’ is a place where young Missourians can make a big difference, and liberty can thrive.”

“In four out of five of those victories, YAL-endorsed candidates were outspent by our opponents. The difference-maker was that YAL students knocked on over 130,000 doors in Missouri,” he continued. “It’s not the Americans who sit on the sidelines and complain that make the difference. At YAL, we take action, engage directly with voters, and we win.”

YAL’s focus is on state legislature races, and SD 29 was the lone Senate contest it got involved with this year. Moon beat David Cole with about 52 percent to secure the Republican nomination. 

In HD 33, Sander handily beat opponent Alex Holt by nearly 76 percent to 24 percent. Davis won the HD 56 nod by beating fellow Republicans Chip Anderson and John Webb, raking in nearly 48 percent of the vote Tuesday. 

And in HD 130, Davidson held off Macy Mitchell by a 160 vote margin. Seitz upset former Branson Mayor Karen Best by less than 500 votes in HD 156. 

As for YAL’s losses: Dean VanSchoiack won the Republican primary in HD 9; Bruce Sassman in HD 62; Cyndi Buchheit-Courtway in HD 115; Dale Wright in HD 116; Ron Copeland in HD 143; and Jamie Burger in HD 148. 

YAL partnered with about 80 students throughout the state to knock doors and meet with voters through its PAC, Make Liberty Win. The effort is part of the group’s “Operation Win at the Door” campaign to elect legislators “who share [YAL’s] commitment to liberty.”

Between the number of candidates and “deployment” of nearly 100 students, Missouri is the biggest targeted state for the group in its history, Maloney previously told The Missouri Times. 

“It’s cool to see Missouri have so many people who are tired of this idea that government is the answer to every single one of our problems,” Maloney said. “If I’m a resident of Missouri, I’m excited to know there’s a new wave of up-and-coming, actually principled people who won’t let special interests and the powers that be drive policy.”

“We’re trying to build a caucus in the statehouse that will actually be conservative when it comes to the power of government,” he said. “I didn’t know that cutting taxes and getting conservative legislation through that limits government is so radical; there are a lot of bad Republicans in Missouri.” 

YAL had a presence in Missouri during the 2018 elections, albeit a much smaller one. It previously supported three candidates in Missouri: Dirk Deaton, Tony Lovasco, and Phil Christofanelli. 

“I could not be more proud of the hardworking YAL student activists on the ground, and I am excited to see Mike Moon, Bishop Davidson, Brian Seitz, Michael Davis, and Chris Sander work to make liberty win in Missouri,” Maloney said.