The Buzz

Missouri auditor Tom Schweich announces campaign team with eye on 2016 governor's race

Updated: 2014-02-12T14:59:10Z

By STEVE KRASKE

The Kansas City Star

Missouri auditor Tom Schweich unveiled a formidable re-election team Tuesday with a wink and a nod to another race two years down the road.

No question Schweich wants another four years as auditor. The plan also appears to call for him to pivot quickly after his presumed re-election this year and launch a race for governor in 2016.

No Democrat is challenging Schweich this year.

Former Missouri Sen. Jack Danforth all but declared his long-time protege as a 2016 candidate to succeed retiring Gov. Jay Nixon.

“My hope is that this would be not just a re-election as auditor, but would be a push forward” to a governor's race two years later, the senator told the Post-Dispatch. “I think it's clear that (Schweich) is obviously the choice to run for governor.”

Schweich is a former chief of staff to Danforth when the senator headed an investigation into the 1993 Branch Davidian showdown in Waco, Tex.

All this, of course, comes the same week that former House Speaker Catherine Hanaway, a fellow Republican, announced that she’s running for governor in 2016, meaning that the GOP could be headed for yet another high-profile primary.

Schweich’s team for his 2014 re-election effort and, presumably, his 2016 run for governor, includes Danforth and former Missouri Sen. Jim Talent as honorary chairs and state Sen. John Lamping as campaign chair.

Honorary co-chairs include Ambassador George H. Walker III, Missouri Congressman Jason Smith, state House Majority Leader John Diehl and former state Sen. Jane Cunningham.

One of the Missouri GOP’s most prolific donors, Ambassador Sam Fox, will serve as Schweich’s finance chair. Springfield attorney Joe Passanise is campaign treasurer.

The team also includes a slew of high profile consultants, including pollster American Viewpoint, which has worked for several successful statewide Republicans, including Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, Talent and former Gov. Matt Blunt.

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