At their final meeting before the Aug. 5 primary election, Phelps County Republicans Thursday night made a lot of plans to get candidates and voters together.

At their final meeting before the Aug. 5 primary election, Phelps County Republicans Thursday night made a lot of plans to get candidates and voters together.
The first opportunity for some interaction will be a candidates forum at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 22, at the Rolla Board of Education meeting room in the D. Kent King School Administration Center, located at Rolla Technical Center, 500A Forum Drive.
Republican and Democratic candidates have been invited to this forum, which will be televised and rebroadcast on Fidelity Channel 16.
“We’d like to have as many people come out as possible--of all persuasions,” said Phelps County Republican Chairman Russell Schmidt at the monthly central committee meeting held in the Phelps County Courthouse multipurpose room.
He explained that candidates who have no opposition in the primary election will be introduced on camera, but the questions from the audience will be asked of the opposing candidates.
Lee Buhr, of KTTR radio stations, will be the moderator.
Other opportunities for voters to learn about candidates before both the primary and the general elections were also reviewed:
• “We are going to have a booth at the fair,” Bob May said. “We expect good participation from the candidates.”
The Phelps County Fair will be held July 23-26, and all Republican candidates and current GOP officeholders have been invited to schedule time at the booth, May said. Many have responded that they will participate.
In addition, he said, “We want one non-candidate to be there at all times, too.”
The non-candidates will host the booth, greet people, answer questions, hand out brochures and offer free cups of water to fairgoers, giving the candidates time to interact with voters who visit the booth.
“We wanted to have a theme for the booth,” May said, and what has been picked is “We, the people, believe ...” That theme ties into other Phelps County Republican materials, including new T-shirts, that lists some of the things Republicans stand for, such as lower taxes and limited government.
• The Phelps County Republican headquarters will open soon after Labor Day. That will give a central place for voters to pick up brochures, position papers and other printed pieces. It will also likely serve as a place for candidate meetings, perhaps even campaign gatherings, as it has in previous campaigns. More information about the headquarters will be released closer to the opening.
• At the St. James Grape and Fall Festival parade Saturday, Sept. 6, the Republicans will have a street booth downtown. As at the fair, candidates will be present throughout the day to meet with voters.
• The Republican picnic will be held Sept. 27 at Lions Club Park from noon until 3 p.m. There will be a lunch. Republican Women will serve cookies. Candidates will speak to voters.
Eighth District U.S. Rep. Jason Smith will be the keynote speaker, Schmidt said.
In addition to putting the finishing touches on the final plans for some of these events, the Republicans also conducted business and discussed issues.
Schmidt read plain English versions of the five amendments that will be on the ballot in August.
One is referred to as a “right to farm.”
Another affirms the “right to keep and bear arms.”
There is also an amendment to raise the state sales tax by three-quarters of one cent to pay for highway and transportation improvements.
Another amendment would create a veterans lottery ticket, possibly shifting some lottery proceeds from education to veterans.
Also there is an amendment that would protect electronic data and communications from warrantless search and seizure.
The committee voted to make copies of the easy-to-read amendment information and make them available at the Phelps County Fair.
“A lot of these amendments affect you greatly,” said Schmidt, who added that voter turnout has been “pathetic” for several elections. He encouraged the Republicans to work to get people out to vote because some of the amendments are designed to address “the Nixon-Obama agenda.”
Candidates were given an opportunity to speak briefly. They were as follows: Pam Grow, candidate for Phelps County clerk; Brian Woolley and Mark Calvert, candidates for associate circuit judge (in different divisions); Brant Shockley and Brendon Fox, candidates for the party’s nomination for prosecuting attorney; and Shawn Sisco, candidate for the 120th District state representative.
Woolley, a 6th Ward Rolla city councilman, also updated the committee on recent council action and discussion. Phelps County District One Commissioner Larry Stratman did the same for county business.
Grow spoke to the committee about the state’s presidential primary.
The committee decided to have both the Aug. 7 regular meeting and a reorganization meeting Aug. 19.
The meeting opened with prayer, the pledge of allegiance and the reading of a quotation from former President Ronald Reagan about the men who landed at Normandy. The minutes and the treasurer’s report were heard and accepted.