Missouri Republicans who are hoping to deliver the Show-Me State to President Bush in the 2004 election find themselves facing the possibility their candidate might have to take on one of the state’s native sons. Of the ten Democrats in the race for the White House, one is a Missourian – Congressman Richard Gephardt of St. Louis. And, a lot of political observers feel that if Gephardt can win his party’s nomination, he could win Missouri and its eleven electoral votes. President Bush won the state over Al Gore in 2000. State Republican Party Chairman Ann Wagner, doesn’t seem too worried about a challenge from Gephardt. Wagner and other Republicans believe Missourians’ votes will never go automatically to a native son. She says voters in this state will make up their minds after listening to the candidates. Still, Wagner says Republican organization will be crucial in delivering the state again to Bush. Gephardt is anything but a lock for the Democratic nomination. He acknowledges a tough road lies ahead and he has his work cut out for him.
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