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Missouri Constitution Party selects Doug Enyart as 8th District nominee

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 27, 2013 - The Missouri Constitution Party is hoping to get another Enyart in the U.S. House.

The party has nominated Doug Enyart, a retired U.S. Marine who now runs a forestry and land management business, as its candidate for the 8th District congressional seat vacated a few weeks ago by Republican Jo Ann Emerson. She resigned to head up the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association in Washington.

Enyart, from Piedmont, Mo., is 56 and making his first bid for public office. He says he isn't related to U.S. Rep. Bill Enyart, D-Belleville, who also is a military veteran.

Doug Enyart will compete June 2 against Republican Jason Smith, a state legislator from Salem, Mo., and Democrat Steve Hodges, a state legislator from East Prairie, Mo. The Libertarian Party nominated Bill Slantz on Feb. 9.

Missouri’s Constitution and Libertarian parties have automatic ballot access because previous candidates have garnered enough votes.

The Constitution Party, as a rule, is more socially conservative than the Republican Party.

In a statement, Enyart said he would focus on the economy.  “Small businesses, which generate the majority of new jobs, cannot thrive and grow in the current climate of overregulation and instability. They don't know what's going to hit them next. I'm going to work on that when I'm elected."

Enyart said his target voters will be “hard-working, patriotic citizens, many who are unemployed (or) underemployed, and who are tired of the partisan bickering and gridlock that defines the two-party system that dominates our central government. Missouri has a unique opportunity to lead the nation to a freer, more prosperous future.”

The 8th District takes in southeast Missouri, stretching as far north as southern Jefferson County, and is considered Republican leaning. Donna Ivanovich, the Constitution Party’s former state chair, said the party plans to promote Enyart as more in tune with the district’s conservative base.

“The other candidates are going to be more of the same,” she said.

For example, “Mr. Enyart is not a globalist,’’ Ivanovich said, and wants to keep jobs in the United States.

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.