KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Republican state committee on Saturday elected John Hancock, a longtime political consultant and former executive director of the state party, to be its next chairman.
“There is much that needs to be done to fix our party and move us forward in a very healthy direction,” Hancock said.
Hancock will replace Ed Martin, a Republican lawyer who had faced criticism for his management of the state party’s finances. The party is nearly $77,000 in debt, and Hancock said raising money will be his top early priority.
Hancock faced opposition from two other candidates, including Newton County Republican Party Chairman Nick Myers and 8th Congressional District Chairman Eddy Justice. He won 50 votes, while Myers received 11 and Justice received seven.
“The best part of the way this worked out was we had support from all types of Republicans,” he said.
Hancock, whose company did opposition research last year for Catherine Hanaway’s gubernatorial campaign, had faced some criticism for being too close to Republican primary campaigns. He pledged to the committee on Saturday that he would do no work for any primary campaigns.
To the criticism of a political professional taking the reigns of the party, Hancock retorted: “Is it such a bad thing to have as chairman someone who has spent their entire professional life electing Republicans across this country?”
Hancock said he would name Jonathan Prouty, the party’s former spokesman under Martin’s predecessor, the party’s next executive director.