Republicans set to pick fourth candidate for 47th District

Thursday, June 28, 2012 | 3:44 p.m. CDT; updated 4:42 p.m. CDT, Thursday, June 28, 2012

COLUMBIA — Republicans will meet for the third time in a little more than a week to decide on a candidate to run for the 47th District seat in the Missouri House of Representatives.

Mitch Richards, the treasurer for Keep Columbia Free, is expected to be the Republicans' new pick for the House seat, Columbia attorney Bill Samuels said. He is a member of the 47th District Republican Committee. 

Richards said he is interested in becoming the Republican nominee.

"It's not official yet," he said, adding that no one else had come forward as a challenger.

While Boone County Republican Chair Bruce Cornett said it would be inappropriate to reveal the name of the new candidate, he said no one else is being considered as of Thursday afternoon.

The committee will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Denny's near Columbia Mall at 1100 Knipp St.

Samuels believes the GOP will get behind Richards.

The 47th District includes parts of western Boone County, eastern Howard County, northern Cooper County and southern Randolph County.

Richards ran for Columbia's First Ward Council seat in 2011 but was defeated by Fred Schmidt.

If Richards is chosen by the committee, he will be the fourth candidate Republicans have nominated for the position. Both Mike Zweifel, an MU employee, and Columbia attorney Jennifer Bukowsky were chosen to replace the original candidate, Darrel Hansen, after he withdrew. Zweifel withdrew Thursday morning, and Bukowsky withdrew last week.

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