Missouri Constitution Party selects Doug Enyart as 8th District nominee
The Missouri Constitution Party is hoping to get another Enyart in the U.S. House.
The party has nominated Doug Enyart, a retired U.S. Marine who now runs a forestry and land management business, as its candidate for the 8th District congressional seat vacated a few weeks ago by Republican Jo Ann Emerson. She resigned to head up the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association in Washington.
Enyart, from Piedmont, Mo., is 56 and making his first bid for public office. He says he isn't related to U.S. Rep. Bill Enyart, D-Belleville, who also is a military veteran.
Doug Enyart will compete June 2 against Republican Jason Smith, a state legislator from Salem, Mo., and Democrat Steve Hodges, a state legislator from East Prairie, Mo. The Libertarian Party nominated Bill Slantz on Feb. 9.
Missouri’s Constitution and Libertarian parties have automatic ballot access because previous candidates have garnered enough votes.
The Constitution Party, as a rule, is more socially conservative than the Republican Party.
In a statement, Enyart said he would focus on the economy. “Small businesses, which generate the majority of new jobs, cannot thrive and grow in the current climate of overregulation and instability. They don't know what's going to hit them next. I'm going to work on that when I'm elected."
Enyart said his target voters will be “hard-working, patriotic citizens, many who are unemployed (or) underemployed, and who are tired of the partisan bickering and gridlock that defines the two-party system that dominates our central government. Missouri has a unique opportunity to lead the nation to a freer, more prosperous future.”
The 8th District takes in southeast Missouri, stretching as far north as southern Jefferson County, and is considered Republican leaning. Donna Ivanovich, the Constitution Party’s former state chair, said the party plans to promote Enyart as more in tune with the district’s conservative base.
“The other candidates are going to be more of the same,” she said.
For example, “Mr. Enyart is not a globalist,’’ Ivanovich said, and wants to keep jobs in the United States.
An earlier version of this story did not name the Libertarian candidate.