ST. LOUIS, MO. (KTVI) – Politico reported beleaguered U.S. Senate Candidate, Congressman Todd Akin, was in Tampa, FL, Wednesday night, meeting with top conservative groups and donors. Tampa is the site of the Republican National Convention next week.
Akin has reportedly been asked to stay away.
Republican leaders want Akin to quit the race, after controversial comments he made about "legitimate rape" during an interview on the Jaco Report on Fox 2.
His comments sparked a national political firestorm.
Akin`s website urged supporters to help him fight 'party bosses'.
Akin has said he`s more accountable to the voters who made him the nominee, than party bosses who want to replace him.
But it won`t be those party bosses who actually replace him, should Akin reverse course and cave in to the mounting pressure.
It`ll be 68 Missouri State Republican Committee men and women from neighborhoods across the state. 4-6 State Republican Party office holders may also be part of the process, but that`s it.
Sharon Barnes of St. Louis, an Akin supporter, is a member of the committee.
'There would be nominations of people to replace Todd on the ballot,' she said. 'Then each of us would be tasked to vote, representing the people of the senatorial district that we were elected to represent. So, it wouldn`t necessarily be a personal opinion but those of the voters (we represent), so they would still have some `weigh- in` on who are our Republican candidate would be.'
Political insiders tell Fox 2 the potential replacement candidates include former U.S. Attorney, Catherine Hannaway, Cape Girardeau Congresswoman, Jo Ann Emerson, Missouri State Auditor, Tom Schweich, and congressional candidate, Ann Wagner.
Sources tell Fox 2 the candidates Akin defeated in the primary, John Brunner, and Sarah Steelman, have already contacted party leaders about taking Akin`s place.
Prominent Steelman supporter, Sarah Palin, even seems to be campaigning.
'I won`t gloat, but I was right,' Palin said on Fox Newschannel. 'We`ve got to take back the senate and Missouri is a must-win state. The way we do that is to have somebody like Sarah Steelman be able to run, even as a 3rd party candidate.'
Barnes said despite party bigwigs like Palin flexing their political muscles, the decision on replacing Akin, if it came to that, would still come down to those committee-men and women.
'This will be done in a very professional, ethical manner. Those of us who support Todd know he is a very fair, open, ethical man. We would expect no less of his supporters. So we will do it the right way,' Barnes said.
That committee is made up of a man and woman from each of the 34 state senate districts. They would hold a special meeting if Akin dropped out; set rules; take nominations; then vote on the nominees.
They'd likely keep voting until one nominee had more than 50% of the votes. That nominee would become the candidate.