COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The Boone County Republicans’ annual Lincoln Days event is Monday evening at the Stony Creek Inn.
Republican politicians were expected to announce bids for upcoming elections, and those who’ve already announced their running would try to connect with Republican voters.
Next year, both U.S. president and Missouri governor elections will be held. By the time Boone County sees its next Lincoln Days event in 2024, a Republican nominee for president could be decided.
The Republicans who have announced their bid for U.S. president include former President Donald Trump, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Vivek Ramaswamy.
Several Missourians have already announced their bid for governor, including special guest speaker Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft. Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe has also announced his bid, as well as state Sen. Bill Eigel (R-St. Charles).
Currently, Sen. Caleb Rowden represents Columbia in the Missouri Senate, but due to term limits, he will not be able to run in 2024. Rowden serves as Speaker Pro Tem, the highest position in the Missouri Senate.
Randy Minchew — an area businessman who’s ran for multiple city offices, including mayor and City Council — formed a committee earlier this month to explore a 2024 run for the 19th Senate District, which covers Boone County. He is looking at the possibility of running as a Republican.
The district used to include Cooper County but the boundaries changed during the last round of redistricting. The new district map means the 19th district seat covers only Boone County, where Democrats have won every elected office.
“One of the biggest fears that I would have as a Columbia citizen is that we would elect a Democrat in Boone County and then that person would go to Jeff City and be in the minority,” Minchew, who also spoke at the event, said. “Someone’s gotta try, I mean you can’t just lay down… You’ve gotta stand up for the conservative values that I represent, and so, that’s what we’re doing.”
Former state representative and ex-chair of the state Democratic Party Stephen Webber has already thrown his hat in for Rowden’s seat. Webber has raised more than $100,000 in his 2024 bid for Boone County’s state Senate seat, according to fundraising reports for the first quarter of 2023.
Republican gubernatorial candidates — like Chris Wright and Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft — are thinking of ways to make a play for Columbia voters to go for the Republican party.
“They need to listen to the people and they need to stop being complacent,” Wright said. “Complacency is what’s losing a lot of our seats that we have control of.”
“I think it’s very easy just to talk about the freedom that Republicans want to bring them,” Ashcroft said. “I mean you have people in Columbia that would just like to have the ability to take their garbage out and dump it in the trash the way they want to.”
The last day for candidates to file for the 2024 state election is Feb. 27, 2024.