Presidential campaign activity is beginning to stir on the ground in Missouri as candidates gear up for the first winner-take-all primaries in Missouri, Illinois, North Carolina, Florida and Ohio on March 15.
Missouri’s large Republican field has divided up the endorsements for GOP presidential hopefuls. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin, endorsed former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Rep. Jason Smith, R-Cape Girardeau, endorsed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Missouri House Speaker Todd Richardson and state Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard are among multiple state legislators who are also behind the Florida senator. Former U.S. Rep. Kenny Hulshof has endorsed Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and Rep. Sam Graves, R- Tarkio, has endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.
Among Democrats, more than 60 leading Missouri Democrats, lead by Sen. Claire McCaskill, Gov. Jay Nixon, and Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis, last fall endorsed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Clinton has field organizers in the state, but her campaign won’t disclose how many.
Sen. Bernie Sanders’ insurgent campaign will send two organizers to Missouri this weekend, and his campaign strategists hope to tap as grass-roots activists about 1,000 Missourians who, the campaign says, are using a cellphone app developed by the Sanders volunteers.
Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch