▪ “Now I am asking that you stand beside me as we fight to make Missouri government more accountable and transparent by putting a true anti-corruption expert in the governor’s mansion.” — Republican Tom Schweich, the two-term Missouri auditor, on Wednesday announcing his candidacy for governor.
Schweich’s entrance into the race sets up a Republican primary with Catherine Hanaway and possibly others. Make no mistake: This will be a costly and intensely competitive race that is destined to turned nasty early. (See next quote).
▪ “Conservative activists throughout Missouri believe primaries have repeatedly cost the Republican Party statewide elections. Today, Auditor Schweich chose to create yet another primary. Auditor Schweich’s electoral record is marked by relentless pursuits of the next office and tearing apart the Republican Party.” — Hanaway spokesman Nick Maddux.
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Schweich will take exception to Maddux’ remarks about the auditor “tearing apart” the GOP. But the first statement is undoubtedly true. Primaries have killed Republicans in recent years. See the 2008 gubernatorial primary or the 2012 U.S. Senate primary. With Democrat Chris Koster standing unchallenged for the Democratic nomination, election watchers will be hard-pressed to conclude that another GOP primary will do anything but hurt.
▪ “Riding into danger with a convoy of soldiers and flying Chinook missions in combat zones was much easier knowing that God and my family were with me every moment.” — Missouri Secretary of State candidate Will Kraus, who also is a GOP state senator from Lee’s Summit, releasing a 2016 campaign video.
My goodness it’s early for 2016 campaign videos, especially for down-ballot statewide races. But here we go anyway. Bookmark this race. It will probably end up pitting two local boys-done-good — Kraus versus Democratic incumbent Jason Kander, the former Kansas City lawmaker.
▪ “Cash flow gets tight by the middle of February.” — Kansas budget director Shawn Sullivan on a February budget crunch the state faces.
Lawmakers need to act soon, Sullivan said Wednesday. His prescription: fund transfers and budget cuts.
▪ “We shouldn’t have a system that makes it harder for children and their families to access the tools they need to get better.” — Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican, on Wednesday on a bill he’s co-sponsoring that would provide for more coordinated care through networks of Medicaid doctors.
The bipartisan legislation Blunt is backing, the Advancing Care for Exceptional Kids Act, is aimed at kids facing medically complex conditions.