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Missouri Judge Rules Against 8 GOP Candidates Unable to Run Due to Refusal of “Morals Test”

8 MO GOP candidates can't run as Republicans

A Missouri circuit court judge ruled that eight Republican candidates will not be allowed to stay on the August primary ballot as Republicans. The candidates had refused to take a “moral values” survey and undergo other vetting by the county’s Republican committee.

The committee, led by chairwoman Cyndia Haggard, filed suit against the county clerk, who had placed their names on the ballot. The judge agreed with the committee, stating that only the party can determine who runs on its ticket.

GOP in rural county fights over who can run as a Republican

The ruling has sparked controversy, with some seeing it as a small group of committee members attempting to push their own conservative agenda. Others believe vetting is necessary to ensure candidates align with the Republican party platform. Haggard, a self-described pro-Trump MAGA Republican, has been vocal about candidate vetting to weed out “RINOs” (Republicans in name only).

The candidates, including five current officeholders, will not be allowed to run as Republicans. They can still file as independents. The ruling has raised concerns about the limits of party control over candidate selection and the role of vetting in ensuring party loyalty. The case highlights the ongoing debate over the balance between party control and individual freedom in the political process.

The judge’s decision has been met with mixed reactions, with some praising the committee’s efforts to maintain party unity and others criticizing the move as an attempt to silence dissenting voices. The outcome of this case will likely have implications for future elections and the role of political parties in shaping the candidate selection process.

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