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(Jefferson City) (AP) – A former southwest Missouri lawmaker has been chosen as executive director of the Missouri Republican Party.

Former state Rep. Shane Schoeller, of Willard, was selected Thursday to oversee the daily operations of the Republican Party.

Schoeller lost an election last November for secretary of state and previously served six years in the House, rising to the number two spot as House speaker pro tem.

He succeeds Lloyd Smith, who resigned last month as executive director to make an unsuccessful bid for Congress.

Missouri Republicans have revamped their leadership since the 2012 elections, when they lost five out of six statewide races but gained a supermajority in the state House. Ed Martin, who lost a bid for attorney general in November, was selected last month as party chairman.

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