COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) – Missouri Republicans have selected a new party leader, casting out chairman David Cole.The Republican State Committee voted 34-32 to elect Ed Martin as the new state party chairman Saturday. Martin, of St. Louis, led Republicans’ coordinated campaign efforts this fall and lost a bid for attorney general in November. He also served as chief of staff to Gov. Matt Blunt.Cole is an attorney from Cassville in southwestern Missouri.Republican leaders met Saturday in Columbia. A Missouri Republican Party spokesman says Martin was elected in the second round of balloting.Jane Cunningham of Chesterfield also sought the chairmanship. She did not seek re-election to the state Senate this year after losing her seat during redistricting.
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