Republican candidates and their supporters got a chance to talk politics and campaigns over a bowl of chili Thursday night at the Boone County Pachyderm Club’s annual chili supper.
Their main message for the night: vote.
“The key is to turn out this year,” state Rep. Chuck Bayse, R-Rocheport, said. Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe added that everyone needs to bring “at least 10 extra people to vote.”
The Boone County Republican Fall Chili Supper is an annual event hosted to support local, county and state Republican candidates, according to the event page.
This year, about 140 people made it to the event, said Mike Zweifel, president of the Pachyderm Club.
Keynote speaker Gina Loudon also encouraged those in attendance to get out and vote. But she asked people to not take too much time off after November before moving onto the 2020 election.
Elections in Missouri will take place Nov. 6. The ballot will include local, county and state candidates and issues.
“I want you to go out and work these amazing candidates,” Loudon said.
Loudon also decried the divisive nature in politics. She said Republicans need to humanize themselves.
“We have to show them we are human again,” Loudon said, “and we have to remind them what it is to be American again.”
Loudon is the author of “Mad Politics: Keeping Your Sanity in a World Gone Crazy.” She grew up in Missouri and is now a columnist and a radio show host living in Florida.
She supported President Donald Trump’s 2016 bid for president and is a member of his 2020 campaign media advisory board; Loudon said she knows Trump personally. To her, the media represents a completely different man then the one she knows.
“They’re going to keep telling you one story,” Loudon said.
Loudon took questions from the audience after she spoke, which mostly pertained to what Trump planned to do in the future. Loudon said she expects Trump to put more in action following the November election.
“This isn’t his campaign,” she said. “This is our candidates’ time.”
Local candidates echoed the sentiment about divisiveness in politics.
“I have friends so far left it is unbelievable,” said Matt Cavanaugh, who is running for Boone County Commissioner. “But when we sit down and talk, we aren’t that far apart.”
Candidates in attendance were given opportunities to speak during the event. They spoke about a mix of what is happening in both Washington and Missouri politics.
Republican State Auditor candidate Saundra McDowell urged people to not only vote for her but to also vote against Clean Missouri.
“Clean Missouri is dirty,” she said. “It’s Dirty Missouri.”
McDowell, like some of the other candidates and Loudon, voiced support for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and said they were frustrated with his opposition. Kavanaugh has been accused of sexual misconduct from events dating back to the 1980s.
Between frustrations toward the Democratic party and support for Trump and his policies, getting out to vote is key, politicians reiterated.
“It is kind of a time worn topic,” said state Rep. Sara Walsh, R-Ashland. “But it’s really what it comes down to.”