As speculation about the future of Missouri’s GOP Party Chairman accelerates, the party’s vice chair says support for him in the party is broad and strong.
John Hancock said in an interview on KMOX radio last week he has some “soul-searching” to do and if the controversy aimed at him makes it harder for him to “fix” the party, that he would not “harm the Missouri Republican party.”
Hancock is accused of being behind a whispering campaign saying that the late Tom Schweich was Jewish, which Schweich allegedly believed was an attempt to hurt his campaign for governor and was angry about at the time of his apparent suicide.
Even if Hancock is beginning to consider stepping down, the party’s Vice-Chair, Valinda Freed, says support for him is strong.
“We are behind him and excited about his plans,” Freed told Missourinet. “The support for John Hancock is amazing and will continue to grow in the next few days and through the months and again, he has two years to prove himself as the leader of the Missouri Republican Party.”
Freed acknowledges there are those who suggest Hancock should step down.
“I suppose they would raise the issue, ‘Well if we replace him, perhaps this topic would go away, this issue would go away,’ and I can certainly see how people would want to believe that,” said Freed, “but the huge majority would stand probably even more firmly in support of John Hancock.”
She believes he is being attacked at a personal level by a small group of people.
“John Hancock’s reputation has been attacked and his family has suffered during this debacle, and he has conducted himself with dignity and has earned great respect from people that are not even in the party,” said Freed.
Freed said Hancock has earned respect for how he has conducted himself since the death of Schweich, who she described as, “a respected member of our party whom we all loved and respected.”
“I’m not certain that any of us could have kept our cool and honored the Schweich family in the way that John Hancock has,” said Freed, “and so we stand behind him.”
She says she’s also heard concerns from people outside the party, who she said are, “Just alarmed at seeing an innocent man accused without a trial, of creating some, having a part in other words, in Tom Schweich’s last days and in his suicide.”
Freed believes support for Hancock is strong enough that if the party were to vote for a chairman again, it would again elect him.