Republicans who gathered in Kansas City for the party’s annual Lincoln Days weekend head home knowing a possible primary for the U.S. Senate seat held by outgoing Senator Christopher "Kit" Bond looms in the future. Southwest Missouri Congressman Roy Blunt is the only announced GOP candidate but former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman is strongly hinting she will get into the race.
Ronny Marguson of Cole County has some concerns about how a primary might create factions within the party.
"Right now, it’s better if we do not have a primary," says Margason.
Those thoughts are echoed by Susie Barrett of Jefferson City.
"I believe that we shouldn’t muddy the waters," says Barrett. "I think we need to unite, join our forces, and not split the party."
Samantha Hill of Holden fears a divisive primary similar to last year’s Kenny Hulshof-Sarah Steelman primary in the race for Governor.
"After what we went through last year and the divisions that were caused by past primaries," comments Hill, "Whether or not you think primaries are good on principle, I don’t think that now is the time."
Henry Atkinson of Columbia has no doubt there will be a primary, and hopes the contest maintains a high level of civility.
"Obviously, in the best of worlds, it would be nice to avoid a primary," states Atkinson, "However, if we have one, we’ll have a fair and hopefully civil contest."
Ivry Karamitros, who was involved in the Victory 2008 effort in southwest Missouri, believes no one should be discouraged from entering the contest. But she hopes a winner emerges quickly.
Says Karamitros: "We don’t have much time and this is a very important race." She adds, "That thing should be wrapped up so the Missouri Republican Party can be unified so we can attain the goal of having the Senate seat remain a Republican Senate seat."
Sarah Greek sums it up with the thought that primaries give voters the opportunity to separate the candidates and the various points of view.
"Primaries tend to create factions within the party," says the Mountain Grove resident. "So it’s understandable when parties try to avoid them, but primaries are a necessary good. We have them. They’re designed with the ultimate intention of having stellar candidates."
Commenting on primaries, in general, Greek adds: "While primaries might be hard on parties, hopefully, the ultimate results will be for the good of the country."