State Rep. Scott Dieckhaus, R-Washington, will be busy during the 2012 election season and not just with his own campaign - if he decides to run again.
Dieckhaus confirmed Monday that he has agreed to serve as interim executive director of the House Republican Campaign Committee, (HRCC), Inc. until a permanent replacement can be found. A formal announcement is expected later this week.
The powerful legislative campaign committee recruits, trains and conducts fundraising for candidates for Missouri House seats. A private entity, the HRCC has raised millions of dollars in recent years for Republican House candidates.
Dieckhaus, who represents the 109th District which covers parts of Franklin and St. Charles counties, will take over on an interim basis for Aaron Willard who is leaving the executive director's post to join Ann Wagner's congressional campaign.
He will take over the executive director's post Dec. 1 and expects to serve on an interim basis for at least several months but perhaps longer depending on how things go.
Dieckhaus, 31, said he got involved with the HRCC shortly after he took office in 2009 and that his role in the organization expanded "pretty quickly" after that. He has traveled throughout the state over the past several years helping with the campaigns of fellow House members.
"I have always enjoyed campaigning, it's been a passion for me," Dieckhaus said. This is an extension of something I enjoy and after I was approached by some members of the organization I thought, if I can help the team out, I'm willing to take this on."
Dieckhaus said that he would not accept a salary for the new job to avoid any perceived conflicts of interest.
"It's really not a different situation that any one else who holds a job outside the Legislature," he explained.
But he did acknowledged that the added responsibility would require more of his time which could influence his decision to run for another term.
"I'm definitely going to continue to serve the constituents who elected me," Dieckhaus explained. "This is obviously an additional responsibility which is going to require more of my time and some more travel. Right now my plan is looking at running (for another term) again. I will evaluate things later. I don't know if I could continue to do both jobs full time. It is a decision I will have to make in February or March."
The HRCC currently has four full-time staff members. That number can expand to 12 or 15 staff members during an election cycle, according to Dieckhaus.
He called the HRCC executive director's position one of the top campaign jobs in the state because of its success in helping the Republican Party take control of the House in 2002. Republicans have expanded their majority ever since.
Many credit the fundraising prowess of the HRCC as one of the reasons for that success.
"It has been an effective organization," Dieckhaus noted. "They have a proven track record of success."
According to the Missouri Ethics Commission, the HRCC had raised $1,007,623.80 as of Nov. 2. That number is considerably higher in election years for House members, like 2010. In that year, the HRCC reported raising $2.4 million by Aug. 31.
According to a story in the Columbia Tribune, the HRCC generally obtains money from two sources - political action committees, or PACs, associated with lobbying interests and campaign funds amassed by incumbent lawmakers, many of whom also obtain a large portion of their contributions from political action committees.
In 2010, 39 of 47 Republicans seeking re-election contributed to the House Republican Campaign Committee. Four members turned over more than $40,000 each to the HRCC, with the two top contributors, Reps. John Diehl, R-Town and Country, and Tim Jones, R-Eureka, providing more than $90,000 each.
All House seats will be up for election in 2012.