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Schoeller tapped as executive director for Mo. GOP

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 28, 2013 - Former Missouri House Speaker Pro Tem Shane Schoeller has been tapped to be the new executive director of the Missouri Republican Party.

In a press release, the state GOP announced that Schoeller – a Republican from Willard – had been selected after a nationwide search that included 45 candidates.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to work with Chairman Ed Martin, our elected Republicans and grassroots activists across our great state to lead the Republican Party forward,” Schoeller said in a statement.

“We must effectively communicate to all Missourians that our best days are ahead by electing Republicans committed to economic growth and prosperity for our state, and our nation. Together, we can build on our historic veto-proof majorities in the Missouri General Assembly, retain our clear majority in our federal congressional delegation, and restore Republican leadership in Missouri's statewide offices.”

Martin called Schoeller "a passionate and articulate messenger for the Republican Party."

"With Shane’s leadership, I am confident that we will achieve success in 2014 and beyond,” Martin said in a statement.

Schoeller – a native of Willard – narrowly lost the race for Missouri secretary of state last year to Democrat Jason Kander. Prior to his election to the Missouri House in 2006, Schoeller was then-Secretary of State Matt Blunt’s chief administrative aide. He also served a legislative assistant to then-U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Springfield.

Interestingly, Schoeller is the second unsuccessful secretary of state candidate in recent memory to take on the executive director post. John Hancock -- who sought the office in 1992 and 1996 -- was executive director from 1997 to 2003.

Schoeller will replace Lloyd Smith, who stepped aside from the executive director position when Smith decided to seek the U.S. 8th Congressional District House seat.  Another Smith -- House Speaker Pro Tem Jason Smith, R-Smith -- won the GOP nomination.

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.