Editor’s Note: A copy of this letter was sent to The Missourian for publication.
* * *
Dear MO GOP State Committee:
Recently, the MO GOP and, as a result, the GOP in general, came under fire for the Missouri Republican state central committee’s decision to allow the party’s early financial support to Josh Hawley, one of several GOP senatorial candidates in the upcoming primary. Through a unanimous vote, the Franklin County Republican Central Committee is addressing this decision on behalf of its constituents and candidates in the primary.
The Franklin County Republican Central Committee does not agree with the state committee’s decision though it may be deemed within its scope of authority. The decision was not timely nor appropriate in the current climate of distrust and dislike for both parties — Republican and Democratic. Turning out the vote is critical for the mid-term election and this decision adds to the criticism and negative feedback in contacting voters and potential voters.
Josh Hawley’s public acclaim as the attorney general, previous campaign exposure to the voters and large campaign donors already give him an advantage over other contenders. However, this GOP support before the primary undercuts other candidates whose campaigns may suffer from limited fundraising and scheduling events. It also limits the voters in making an informed decision in the primary. This advance action by the GOP has rendered the primary process for senatorial candidate unnecessary and unimportant.
This same decision handicaps Josh Hawley as a viable opponent to the sitting Sen. Claire McCaskill. He now faces even more opposition from voters who are already unhappy with his abandoning his post as Missouri’s attorney general. It also decreases his fundraising among the voters. It has hurt the GOP candidates in every aspect.
In addition, it provides fodder to the Democratic Party, as well as to Sen. McCaskill, in campaign efforts to retain the senatorial seat. Their argument will be that Hawley circumvented the primary process through the efforts of the MO GOP; that Hawley and the MO GOP interfered in the primary process.
It even reflects against President Donald Trump endangering the senatorial seat so badly needed to break the Democrat obstructive tactics in the Senate. The untimely decision also adds to the political division between voters and the “establishment” alignment with the GOP itself. The uphill battle to turn out the vote is even further hampered as the idea continues to grow that the “forgotten man” does not count in the electoral process.
While we would like for this decision to be reversed, the damage has already been done and cannot be undone. We trust that in the future such decisions that could undermine the voters and candidates at large not be considered much less passed.
In order to address our voters on this issue, we will be publishing a copy of this letter prior to the primary date. It in no way indicates our support of or nonsupport of Josh Hawley.