The Missouri Republican Party is holding its state convention this weekend in Branson. The convention is held every four years, the same year that America chooses the next President of the United States.
The final 25 delegates will be chosen at the state convention for the national Republican convention in Cleveland, which begins July 18. Missouri’s GOP party chose 27 of its delegates during the congressional district convention in April.
The Missouri GOP’s state committee will also vote on a proposal to ask the Republican-controlled state legislature to consider passing a bill that would make Missouri a closed primary state, requiring a voter to register their party preference, which would be a public record.
University of Central Missouri Political Science Professor Robynn Kuhlmann has heard chatter about the issue.
“When you close the primary, you have individuals who have to register as a Republican and you don’t have new voters coming in,” said Kuhlmann. “The reason why political parties have those closed primaries is because they want some control over who the nominee is going to be. What tends to happen is that the candidates that emerge out of those closed primaries tend to be more, I would have to say, extreme candidates who abide by the party platform.
Kuhlmann expects the state convention results to affect how presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump will campaign in Missouri the rest of this election.
“The proposed platform that they are going to take is not in line with what Trump has been saying,” said Kuhlmann. “I think that in terms of his media output, it may be in a targeted way that those issues aren’t necessarily addressed.”
The proposed 2016 platform for the state GOP includes passing ‘Right to Work’ legislation, Pro-Life issues, opposition to allowing transgender individuals to use public bathrooms that match their gender identity and preventing entry to the U.S. for those without legal immigration status and terrorists.