Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ed Martin taps Allen Icet to Build Grassroots Base

Ed Martin For Congress: Allen Icet Named Chairman of Ed Martin for Congress Campaign:

Today, Ed Martin is honored to announce that conservative leader, former State Representative Allen Icet, has accepted the key leadership position of Chairman of the Ed Martin for Congress campaign. As Chairman, Icet will have a critical leadership role in the campaign’s operations and in helping the campaign effectively deliver the message of Restoring America’s Greatness.

For a lot of reasons, this struck me as a savvy move for Ed Martin's underdog campaign. Bringing on Icet indicates to me that Ed recognizes that he will not win the money game against his primary opponent Ann Wagner, but he has to win the ground game. That dove-tails with the analysis I provided at the Missouri Record in late July. Patrick Tuohey who runs the Missouri Record, provides this analysis of the Icet pick:

At first this may look like standard issue political rhetoric. Rah-rah. Icet served in the Missouri House until termed out. In 2010, Icet was considered the grassroots candidate in the auditor's race, but he lost the Republican primary to Tom Schweich by a landslide, securing only 41% of the vote.  
In western St. Louis County, however, it was a different story. That area, which makes up a significant portion of the Republican voter base in the new 2nd Congressional District, voted for Icet.  He beat Schweich handily in the three largest townships of West County—Chesterfield, Wildhorse and Lafayette—winning 62%, 62% and 53% respectively.  West County is Ann Wagner's Home turf.
A conservative blogger who lives in St. Louis summed up the matter by saying, "Icet has street cred in that area, if he can turn his grassroots into Martin grassroots then that is significant."

Ed Martin is leveraging political assets from 2010. That includes the name recognition that he developed in the region and now the remnants of Icet's political machine have a reason to get behind Ed. It's not enough to win, but it's an important step toward victory.

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