Republican Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich detailed his official duties and called for party unity ahead of the 2014 general election season on Thursday during remarks to Pettis County Republicans.
Schweich, elected to the state auditor’s office in 2010 after defeating incumbent Democratic auditor Susan Montee, delivered his remarks during the John C. Ryan Picnic, an annual gathering of Pettis County Republicans.
Noting that he will be at the top of the statewide ticket in 2014, Schweich called on the varied “factions” of Missouri Republicans — religious conservatives, libertarians and establishment Republicans to set aside differences and support viable statewide candidates in 2014 and 2016.
“In statewide races, you realize, we lost five of six statewide races last fall. A Republican state. A conservative state. A God-fearing state; and Democrats won five of six offices,” Schweich said. “I think it is important we win in 2014 with a strong victory and that will set the stage for 2016. We have to stem the flow ... this idea that Republicans can’t win statewide, we have to stop it.”
Schweich also used the opportunity to provide some insight into the functioning of his office, which conducts regular performance audits of more than 200 state offices and agencies and some county and local governments. He told the crowd he seeks to identify instances of theft, waste or abuse, deliver accurate information for lawmakers and provide oversight of Missouri schools.
The picnic also saw longtime party members state Rep. Stan Cox (R-Sedalia) and Pettis County Republican Party member Vaughn Hart recognized for their individual efforts on behalf of the party and its principles.
Cox was presented with a “Defender of Prosperity” award by Patrick Werner, state director for Americans for Prosperity — a conservative advocacy group.
Werner said the group identified 14 state representatives and six state senators for their legislative activities over the last year. Cox received an “A” rating from the group following votes he took on issues including Medicaid expansion, Common Core education standards, Agenda 21, a proposed transportation sales tax, prevailing wages, tax reform and spending caps.
Hart was recognized with the 2013 John C. Ryan Award for his public and volunteer service through the party, telling the Democrat he was honored to receive the award.
“I believe it is important to be involved in politics. Sitting back and complaining never solved any problems,’ ” Hart said.