COLUMBIA — Mike Zweifel is the Republican nominee for District 47 of the state House of Representatives after Columbia attorney Jennifer Bukowsky withdrew from the race.
Bukowsky was the Republican candidate for the seat fewer than 24 hours before she withdrew without explanation. She was nominated for the post Wednesday night at the 47th legislative district committee meeting.
Wednesday's meeting, however, was not official because a majority of the panel's 11 members was not present. A new meeting was scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday before Bukowsky withdrew.
Six members of the nominating committee, including Zweifel, were present Thursday when he was chosen as the new candidate by acclamation. Committee rules normally require a vote by secret ballot, but the committee opted to approve Zweifel's nomination without a formal vote.
Boone County Republican Chair Bruce Cornett endorsed Zweifel's candidacy.
"If all Republicans behaved as Mike there would be no Democrats," Cornett said.
Randolph County Republican Chair Valinda Freed added that Zweifel was "more than qualified."
Zweifel, 34, lives in the new 47th district just outside Columbia city limits. He graduated from the MU School of Journalism in 1999. He worked at the Columbia Missourian in its advertising department from August 2005 to July 2007.
He is currently employed in the marketing department at the MU Student and Auxiliary Services Department, which oversees the University of Missouri System's bookstores. If elected, Zweifel said he would have to resign from the university. He and his wife, Angela, have a 9-year-old son.
Zweifel said his biggest legislative priority in the House would be to make sure proposed bills are constitutional.
"I want to keep government out of lives as much as possible," he said.
The nominating process was necessary because the original Republican candidate for the seat, Darrel Hansen, withdrew from the race after the candidate filing period had closed. In this event, state law allows local party committees to nominate one candidate for the seat.
The process was extended due to the botched meeting last night.
"The whole thing has been very awkward," Cornett said. "There is no precedent for this."
The new 47th district consists of western Boone County, eastern Howard County, northern Cooper County and southern Randolph County.
Zweifel will face the winner of the Democratic primary between Nancy Copenhaver and John Wright in November's general election.
Supervising editor is Jake Kreinberg.