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Missouri Democrats Vote To Retain Roy Temple As Chairman

Roy Temple
Official photo

As expected, leaders of the Missouri Democratic State Committee have re-elected Roy Temple as state party chairman, despite the party’s poor showing last fall.

Temple faced no major opposition during Saturday’s vote, held at the Truman Hotel in Jefferson City. He is close to U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and state Attorney General Chris Koster, who had supported his initial ascension to the top party post in 2013.

St. Louis Comptroller Darlene Green was re-elected as the state party’s vice chairman.

Temple said in a statement issued afterward, “I look forward to continuing to fight for Missouri’s working families in this capacity. Our state faces many challenges ahead and we will continue to build on our progress and stand up for Democratic values as we look to 2016.”

The state party chairman, for Republicans and Democrats, is the chief fundraiser, oversees candidate recruitment, and often also serves as its “public face.”

The state Republican Party is expected to choose a new chairman during its Lincoln Days festivities in two weeks in Kansas City. The favored choice is expected to be GOP consultant John Hancock, of St. Louis.

Top Democrats rally around Temple

Temple, based in Kansas City,  long has been a respected Democratic strategist and consultant, through good times and bad. He has been involved in state and regional politics for more than 25 years, and served a stint in Washington.

Temple was the co-founder of the now-defunct partisan web site, FiredUp Missouri, that had been the first online vehicle for regional Democratic attacks for eight years, until 2012.

Temple helped manage the late Gov. Mel Carnahan’s political campaigns during the 1990s, and served a stint as Carnahan’s chief of staff. Temple also was chief of staff for the two-year period when Jean Carnahan, the governor’s widow, was appointed to the U.S. Senate after Mel Carnahan’s posthumous election in 2000.

Saturday’s vote prompted complimentary statements from Gov. Jay Nixon, McCaskill, Koster, state Treasurer Clint Zweifel, and Secretary of State Jason Kander.

Said Nixon:  “I am confident Roy Temple’s experience, wisdom, and leadership will help the Missouri Democratic Party continue its work to fight for all families, create good-paying jobs and keep our Party moving forward as we approach 2016.”

Said McCaskill: "Roy isn't just one of the most skilled, tactical strategists I've ever worked with - more than that, he's got the long-term vision for waging a sustained political fight. And that's exactly the leadership the Missouri Democratic Party will benefit from as we work to restore some common sense to our state legislature, and make Chris Koster our next Governor." 

From Koster:  “I congratulate Roy Temple on his re-election as Missouri Democratic Party Chairman.  Roy has proven his commitment to building a stronger party through enhanced operations and candidate recruitment. Roy has the strategic vision we need as we continue to grow our party. I look forward to working with him this election cycle.”

Said Zweifel: “Roy’s steadfast democratic principles and political savvy have served our Party well, and I share my fellow Democrats’ confidence in his leadership.” 

Added Kander:  "Roy has done a great job building a foundation for the party that I know will pay dividends in 2016. I look forward to working with him to continue the success we've had at the statewide level while bringing some Missouri values to the state legislature."

Jo Mannies is a freelance journalist and former political reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.