- Associated Press - Saturday, December 3, 2016

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Democratic Party on Saturday elected Stephen Webber as its new chairman.

Webber, of Columbia, was elected at the state party elections at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, the party said in an emailed statement. Webber replaces Roy Temple, who was elected chairman in 2013.

“The Democratic Party stands for public education and working families, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead Democrats as we fight for these important values,” Webber said in the statement.

As the party chairman, Webber will be the state’s link to the national party at a time when Democrats have lost many state government offices, the Columbia Missourian reported (https://j.mp/2g5YU4X ). Sen. Claire McCaskill and State Auditor Nicole Galloway, the only Democrats who still hold statewide office, face elections in 2018. This year, Republicans won every contested statewide office and retained their legislative supermajorities.

A Marine veteran, Webber served four terms in the state House before losing to Republican Caleb Rowden for the open state Senate seat that encompasses Boone County and part of Cooper County.

Party members chose Webber as party chairman over Gary Winston Apple, who unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor. The party also said it elected Genevieve Williams as vice-chair, Rep. Clem Smith of St. Louis County as secretary and State Rep. Lauren Arthur of Kansas City as treasurer.

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Information from: Columbia Missourian, https://www.columbiamissourian.com


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