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Davis elected head of St. Charles County Republicans

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 18, 2010 - State Rep. Cynthia Davis will still wield political clout, even though she lost her Republican bid for the state Senate.

Davis, R-O'Fallon, confirmed this afternoon that she has been elected chair of the St. Charles County Republican Central Committee, effective immediately. The vote, conducted Tuesday night, was unanimous, she said.

Davis' selection for the unpaid but powerful post underscores the clout of the Tea Party movement in St. Charles County.

Earlier this month, she unsuccessfully sought to oust state Sen. Scott Rupp, R-Wentzville, in the GOP primary for the 2nd District state Senate post. Davis snagged almost 46 percent of the vote, despite being heavily outspent by Rupp.

Davis is completing the last of her four allowed terms in the state House. So her new job will continue to give her a political base.

"I am tremendously honored to be asked to serve in a larger capacity for our party. This is an important statement for all Republicans because St. Charles County enjoys the prestige of being a major determiner of Missouri politics," Davis said, referring to the county's status as one of the top Republican blocs of votes in the state.

"Our reputation is earned from being able to deliver the votes to shape the outcome of statewide races. The size of our victory margins can propel winners statewide," she added.

Davis said she is promising "enthusiastic, principle-driven leadership" that will focus on promoting what she sees as "the Republican brand ... limiting government, protecting the taxpayers, supporting marriage and morality and standing up for everyone's God-given right to life."

Davis has won a lot of political notice -- and national notoriety -- for her regular legislative newsletters. Among other things, she has pressed legislation to make it more difficult to obtain a divorce and to make abortion illegal, and has spoken out against the federal summer-lunch program for poor children, saying that "hunger can be a positive motivator."

Davis said today that her lunch comments have been misconstrued.  "I wrote a commentary on the summer feeding program, siding with parents and affirming their desire and ability to feed their children with dignity. The 'positive motivator' comment was only made in reference to teens who are older than 16," she said.

Davis said this afternoon that she plans to "continue sending out regular updates because communication is vital to all successful offices."

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.