Earlier today, the Missouri Republican State Committee met and elected new officers.
Congratulations to Chairman Todd Graves, Vice Chair Kay Hoflander, Secretary Nick Myers, and Treasurer Pat Thomas.
The election comes on the heals of a historic election cycle for Missouri Republicans, which saw the GOP sweep all seven statewide elections while retaining super-majorities in the General Assembly and continuing to increase our strength in county courthouses.
Our Republican leadership team will work closely with Governor-elect Eric Greitens and all of our Republican officials to move Missouri in a new direction.
Below you will find a transcript of remarks from outgoing Chairman John Hancock delivered to the Republican State Committee meeting.
Message from outgoing Chairman John Hancock
January 7, 2017
Many decades ago, I was a Boy Scout in Troop 769. We would go to Summer Camp at S – Bar – F Scout Ranch outside of Farmington and spend one week of each summer working on merit badges – and on becoming men. Our Scoutmaster at the time, Bob Skala, a World War 2 veteran, taught us many life lessons. At least one of them has stuck with me to this day. Mr. Skala taught us to always “leave the campground in better shape than we found it.” Through many jobs, ordeals, missions, and assignments, this simple directive has become engraved in my soul.My friends, two years ago we inherited a Missouri Republican Party that was in disarray. We were divided personally and ideologically. We were in dire, massive debt. We were considered ineffective and we were ridiculed. We were, in a very real sense, a campground in need of attention. We were left a mess.
Many of you decided to entrust me with the challenge of helping to rebuild a once-great institution – the Missouri Republican Party. I was honored and humbled by your trust and confidence. And so, our mission began.
Five days into that mission, tragedy struck our party. Our State Auditor, Tom Schweich, took his life on a cold, wintery day in late February of 2015. Much to my shock, some in our party and in the media accused me of being the motivating force behind Tom’s tragic decision. I was utterly unprepared for what followed.
Though I knew I’d done nothing to provoke such a horrific event, the next several weeks became some of the most difficult of my life. Jon Prouty moved into our guest room and stood by my side. Many of you urged me to stay the course and offered profound encouragement. My faith was tested and my family was devastated. Through it all, I had to measure and weigh what was best for our party and best for my now-tarnished reputation. Those were overwhelming times.
After finally deciding to stand for the truth, many of you chose to do the same. I will never, ever, forget the encouragement, support, and affirmation that so many of you provided during those dark days. In a real sense, you held me upright when my natural inclination was to lay down or just go away.
It was in April of 2015, when we convened an informal meeting of the State Committee, that the tide began to turn. We came together and tackled some very difficult issues – delegate allocation, the state convention, the national convention, divisive statewide primaries… Together, we dug into the very difficult work of being a political party. We emerged decisive and united.
From there, a presidential campaign unfolded that divided Republicans in almost every state of the Union. It did not divide US. We had pledged to stand together in a war to save America – whatever that might mean. We had pledged to fight, side-by-side, to hold our ground – no matter what might come against us. We had pledged to support our ticket through thick and thin – and the thin came – in a torrent. We stood. We fought. We prevailed. Like Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain at Gettysburg, we “fixed bayonets.”
After all was said and done, my dear friends, Missouri history was made last November. Never before has our Republican Party prevailed in seven statewide elections on a single ballot. Never before have Republicans held a US Senate Seat, six of eight congressional seats, the Governor’s office, five of six statewide offices, and super majorities in both the State House and the State Senate. Unprecedented. Unexpected. Unbelievable.
Together – with outstanding candidates who ran outstanding campaigns – we have achieved heights never imagined by those who have come before. The campground we inherited is most certainly left in a far better circumstance. We stayed the course. We fought the battle. We lived to see historic success. I thank God for allowing us to witness these events of the past two years and for allowing us to recognize His unmistakable hand in all of them.
It has been one of my life’s greatest honors to serve you as your chairman. I remain humbled by your hard work and support. But it’s now time to move along so a new chairman can build upon the successes you have created. It’s now someone else’s mission to improve the campground. I am delighted to step aside after completing my small piece of this unfolding history!
I do want to leave you with some thoughts about the future of our beloved party. I hope the future leadership of MRP builds upon the foundation of the Virtual Precinct that we developed together. It can be a grassroots tool that gives Republicans a true advantage over our adversary for many years to come. I hope you will successfully make Missouri a “closed primary” state – where voters declare allegiance to one or no political party in primary elections. I hope you will strip state statutes of the authority to dictate times and dates to political parties as they reorganize and develop to assist their candidates. There are yet many missions to accomplish!
I leave you with a profound sense of mutual satisfaction. I leave you with a deep sense of gratitude for your support and confidence. I leave knowing that, together, we have left the campground in much better shape. Together, we stood through some turbulent, stormy seas.
My very first communication to you on this journey was entitled, “A More Perfect Union.” I believe we walk away from here having achieved that objective. The Union we inherited is unquestionably far better than it was. We were not perfect nor did we achieve perfection. And, we have left good and valuable work for others to complete.
To close, in the words of Ronald Reagan, “We’ve done our part. As we walk off into the city streets, my friends, we did it! We weren’t just marking time. We made a difference. We made the city stronger. We made the city freer. And, we left her in good hands. All in all, not bad. Not bad, at all. So, goodbye. God Bless You. And God Bless the United States of America.”