Monday, July 18, 2016

The governor's race comes to Carthage- a look at the Lincoln Ladies Ice Cream Social

There are times when a judge has to reach for his gavel.

Take for instance a talkative woman in the back of the courtroom. A banging of the gavel would take care of that nonsense.

Unfortunately for Jasper County Circuit Court Judge John Nicholas, the woman he was glaring at in the back of Memorial Hall tonight was not in his courtroom. The woman's conversational voice made it difficult, if not impossible, for Nicholas and those in the back of the room to hear county candidates make their three-minute pitches to those attending the Lincoln Ladies Ice Cream Social.

You can't really blame Catherine Hanaway. Hanaway, one of four candidates for governor who attended the event, has a voice that carries.

The former Speaker of the House was the final candidate for the top job in the state to arrive, just a few minutes behind businessman John Brunner. She took her seat on the stage as Brunner was speaking and maintained a frown as Brunner described himself as a "candidate who can't be bought."

Hanaway, of course, received a million dollars from retired billionaire Rex Sinquefield, but surely Brunner was not referring to her.

The rousing applause Brunner received as he concluded appeared to do little to improve her disposition.

It did not throw her off her game, however. Hanaway delivered red meat to a clearly receptive audience, the biggest to attend the event since Carthage native Bill Webster was running for governor in 1992.

If she becomes the next governor, Hanaway said, "There won't be another Ferguson."

She also ripped Common Core and took a shot at the recent Obama Administration order on transgender students in school bathrooms. "Missourians have known where to go to the bathroom for a long, long time."

When Hanaway finished she was greeted with a rousing round of applause.

A few moments after her speech, Hanaway met with a group of potential voters in the lobby area of the building.

She introduced herself, but before she could make her pitch, a woman said, "I support Brunner."


The other two candidates for governor, former Navy Seal Eric Greitens and Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, were the first two speakers.

Greitens' team made its presence known. The row of banners across the back of Memorial Hall not only featured Greitens posters on the far left and the far right, but a giant Greitens poster was set up right behind the row, impossible to miss.

Greitens received the first applause of the evening by speaking up for law enforcement. "As governor, I will always have the backs of those who are always on call for us."

Kinder stressed his experience, his success in being elected as the only Republican statewide officeholder and the work he did to push through conceal-carry over Gov. Jay Nixon's veto.

Both candidates were well received.

Two other statewide candidates received a free shot, thanks to their chief competition's failure to show up. Sen. Will Kraus, R-Lee's Summit was the only secretary of state candidate to show, as his most prominent competitor, Jay Ashcroft, son of former Gov. John Ashcroft, was a no-show.

Sen. Mike Parson, R-Bolivar attended the event, but his opponent, Bev Randles, did not.


Despite their back-and-forth television ads, attorney general candidates Josh Hawley and Kurt Schaefer were reasonably polite. Hawley spoke of his success in representing Hobby Lobby in front of the U. S. Supreme Court during its successful appeal of Obamacare regulations. Hawley also noted his status as an outsider, saying Missouri did not need another politician in the attorney general's office.

Schaefer, who is a politician, currently serving in the Senate, stressed his career prior to running for Senate as a prosecutor and noted that his opponent had never prosecuted a case, a point he has made in his television advertising.

Schaefer also offered one of the most surprising statements of the event when he complimented his opponent, saying "Josh is a good guy."

He certainly has been hitting that "good guy" with a ton of negative advertising.


Seventh District Congressman Billy Long, who is attending the Republican National Convention, wasn't in Carthage, but three of his opponents presented their qualifications.

Christopher Batsche, a businessman, noted that he had filed a federal lawsuit against Hillary Clinton, presumably the only candidate who has done so.

"I don't think Billy Long is doing a good job," he said, noting the number of candidates from both the Democratic and Republican parties who are running against him.

Sparta Police Chief Lyndle Spencer noted his background in the military and in law enforcement and his support for fellow officers who have been under attack.

Retired educator Mary Byrne, head of Missourians Against Common Core, received generous applause when she mentioned her creation of that organization.


Sen. Roy Blunt made a rare appearance at this event. Emcee Jenny Mansfield announced, "Roy Blunt is in the building.

Blunt delivered a lengthy speech (at least compared to the three minutes the other candidates were given) in which he attacked Obamacare and took at shot at presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

"Their candidate for president thinks the rules don't apply to her. We want to make sure they understand that the rules do apply to her."

After Blunt finished, Mansfield said, "We let him go over because we didn't know exactly what to do."

The line received considerable laughter, but it didn't appear that she was joking.


Jasper County and state representative candidates who were involved in races also spoke, including Bill Birkes, Cody Smith, and Steve Leibbrand for 163rd District state representative, Stephen Carlton and Dean Dankelson for Division 2 Circuit Judge, and Jim Lessy, Gayle Cline, Dale Dintaman, and Gary Graves for Eastern District county commissioner. The other commission candidate, Rep. Tom Flanigan, R-Carthage, was attending the Republican National Convention.

(Photos, from top- State Representative candidate Cody Smith and his wife, Jana, have a conversation with Jasper County Republicans.  Candidates Chris Batsche, Josh Hawley, Will Kraus, and Mike Parson listen as Eric Schaefer speaks. The capacity crowd at Memorial Hall)

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