– Missouri Republican Party Executive Director Shane Schoeller is considering a campaign for the now-open Greene County Clerk seat next year, PoliticMo has learned.
Schoeller’s interest in the seat come as Richard Struckhoff, who – with 27 years – is office’s longest serving incumbent, announced he would not seek reelection in 2014.
“That’s not a record I was intentionally trying to break,” Struckhoff said in a statement. “The years have just flown by so quickly!”
In an interview Friday afternoon, Schoeller said he has had several people ask him to consider running in the lead up to Struckhoff’s announcement.
“I’m going to take a serious look at running,” he said. “I don’t have a formal timeline yet, but certainly it will not be in the very distant future whether I make a formal announcement.”
If he were to run, Schoeller said it would be up to the Missouri Republican Party State Committee to determine his future with the party, but in all reality, a campaign would likely create an opening at the state party.
“It will be up to Chairman Martin and the executive committee when I need to leave, but I will be certainly respective of their decision,” he said.
Schoeller lauded Struckhoff as a “mentor” and someone he greatly respected, noting that Struckhoff advised him during his 2012 campaign for secretary of state.
During his 2012 campaign, he campaigned for requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls in order to, in his words, protect “election integrity,” and said the county is appealing for the same reason.
“It would be an opportunity for me to continue fighting for common sense election reforms, including a photo ID requirement for voting, that will protect our elections from voter fraud,” he said.
Struckhoff was appointed to the seat in 1987 by then-Gov. John Ashcroft, a Republican, upon the resignation of Dennis Hobbs. The seat has been used as a launching point for Hobbs’ successor, Roy Blunt, who used the position to build a significant base for himself and in turn other Republicans in southwest Missouri politics.