Missouri Republican power shaken by scandal, tragedy
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Republicans are near the height of the power in Missouri. Yet they just can't seem to escape political troubles and tragedies.
The latest fallen star is Missouri House Speaker John Diehl, who resigned in disgrace last week after acknowledging he had exchanged sexually suggestive text messages with a 19-year-old Capitol intern
That followed the suicides earlier this year of State Auditor Tom Schweich, who was running for governor, and his auditor's office spokesman.
State Rep. Todd Richardson is the man who took over for Diehl as House speaker. Richardson acknowledges that Republicans have had a rough year. But he believes they can rebound.
The troubles come as the parties are gearing up for the 2016 elections, which feature contests for president, Senate, governor and most of Missouri's other executive officers.