Fourth GOP candidate lines up for treasurer’s race

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Former Republican congressional candidate Sara Hart Weir has taken the first official step to run for state treasurer, bringing to four the number of GOP candidates running for the position now held by Democrat Lynn Rogers.

Weir filed the necessary paperwork on Monday that allows her to start raising money for the treasurer’s race, which already includes Republicans Michael Austin, state Rep. Steven Johnson and state Sen. Caryn Tyson.

Rogers is running for a full four-year term after he was appointed by Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly to replace Republican Jake LaTurner after he was elected to Congress.

A spokesman for the Weir campaign said she would not comment until she makes a formal announcement.

Last year, Weir finished second in a five-person Republican primary in the 3rd Congressional District that was won by Amanda Adkins.

Adkins ultimately lost in the general election to Congresswoman Sharice Davids.

Adkins won the primary with about 30% of the vote to 23% for Weir.

As a political newcomer in 2020, Weir raised about $724,000 leading up to the primary, while Adkins raised about $970,000.

In recent months, Weir has been co-chairing Maggie’s List in Kansas along with Becky Johnson.

Maggie’s List backs conservative women candidates running for office and endorsed Weir in her unsusccessful primary bid for Congress in the 3rd District last summer.

She also has been advising the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to ensure that underserved and underrepresented populations have access to the COVID-19 vaccines.

She took on the advising role as part of an effort led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.

The spokesman for Weir said she has hired Scott Turk and Meredith Gibbons as fundraising consultants.

Turk and Gibbons are now raising money for Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who is running for U.S. Senate where he just raised $1.3 million in the last quarter alone.

He raised the most of any Missouri U.S. Senate candidate so far, including former Gov. Eric Greitens, who raised $350,000.

Gibbons and Turk both worked for Greitens, who resigned in scandal in the spring of 2018.

Turk, a founder of the firm ST Strategies, worked as the director of boards and commissions for Greitens and worked for his gubernatorial campaign as deputy finance director.

Turk left the governor’s state payroll in the months before Greitens resigned, although he continued to be compensated by the the governor’s political campaign.

Gibbons, meanwhile, also had worked as a fundraiser for Grietens and for a dark money nonprofit with ties to the governor that drew scrutiny because of its relationship to the governor’s campaign.

It’s been long been anticipated Weir would seek the treasurer’s office because it administers the ABLE program, which makes available tax-exempt savings accounts for people with disabilities.

As former chief executive of the National Down Syndrome Society, Weir worked to pass the law, which was intended to ease the financial burdens shouldered by individuals with disabilities to cover certain expenses for education, housing and transportation.

During the last election cycle, Weir secured support from Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who up until 2018  had been the highest ranking woman in Republican leadership.

Rodgers chaired the House Republican Conference from 2012 to 2018. Rodgers, who has a son with Down syndrome, worked with Weir to pass the ABLE Act.