Missouri Treasurer Sarah Steelman and 9th District Rep. Kenny Hulshof stumped for support of Branson area Republicans at Taney County's annual Lincoln Days.
Though Democratic numbers are rising, Taney County is generally viewed as the conservative heart of the bellwether state. Both candidates praised Southwest Missouri for tilting the scares and launching a conservative revolution in Jefferson City marked with a Republican Governor and State Legislature - a trend Republicans hope will continue.
Steelman spoke to the social conservative base preaching conservative values and focusing on three wedge issues, monitoring financial contributions to unfriendly nations, abortion and traditional marriage.
Steelman gained national recognition last year for her revaltion that funds from Missouri's citizenry were going to companies supporting the "Axis of Evil". Her platform for monitoring terrorist funding was adopted by several other states. Steelman claimed her candidacy was about principle quoting a statement her son made regarding his baseball team,
"Some of my team members are more interesting in scoring than winning the game"
Hulsof preached party unity echoing Steelman's statements regarding the conservative stronghold Southwest Missouri is known for. Hulshof's monologue focused on party unity closing with a statement from Republican Icon Ronald Reagan (video to follow)
The congressman said,
"I hope the next Governor of Missouri is in this room."
Hulshof appealed to the local base verbally honoring 38th Circuit Judge Mark Orr who Hulshof worked with as a prosecuting attorney.
Missouri's Democratic nominee Jay Nixon has a considerable war chest and promises a well funded, contentious and difficult battle for his Republican challenger. Hulshof is generally viewed as the likely candidate with longstanding political ties and a proven ability to raise funds. Steelman is strengthened by her intimacy with the states finance skills, professed values that coincide with the conservative base and the fact she's a woman during a time when the social climate is focused heavily on identity politics.
With a contender as strong as Nixon, Republicans will have to weigh whether a hard fought primary could wane the possibility of a victory in November.