Missouri GOP chair stepping aside to lead Phyllis Schalfly’s Eagle Forum

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri Republican Party Chairman Ed Martin on Monday announced he would be leaving the post after he accepted a job as president Eagle Forum, the conservative group that was started by activist Phyllis Schlafly.

The party said he will finish out his term before stepping down.

“This means that my time as Chairman of the Missouri Republican Party must come to an end,” he said, announcing the new role to supporters. “I have been privileged to lead our party these last two years, and I am excited by the new challenge I face.”

Martin was elected chairman in 2013, after the party’s insurgent activist base beat a number of the so-called “establishment” elected members of the state party. Martin beat then-Chairman David Cole with the activist wind at his back, but was left without much of the significant fundraising advantage that came with establishment support.

This year, the establishment is looking to take back the reigns of the state Republican Party, as U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt readies for his reelection campaign in 2016. As Martin steps aside, former Missouri Republican Party Executive Director John Hancock, now a Republican political consultant, is waiting in the wings.

“I am happy for chairman Martin and the Eagle Forum,” Hancock said. “He will be a forceful leader for the conservative cause in Missouri and beyond.”

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