Here’s an intriguing bit of news: Vicki Schneider, St. Charles state rep for the 17th district, a Republican, attended the rally for John Edwards this morning. As the intro speakers, people like Senator Tim Green, Senator Wes Shoemyer, ex-Lt. Gov. Joe Maxwell, and Representative Connie Johnson, came out of the room where they had been closeted with Edwards before the event began, Schneider was with them. They went up on stage, but she stopped short of doing that.

A couple of the attendees talked to her briefly, and she mentioned that she was Vicki Schneider, a state rep from St. Charles. No mention of being a Republican. As Edwards spoke, she clapped and even pulled out her cell phone to take some pictures. When Edwards made derogatory comments about Republicans, she laughed … awkwardly. As soon as his speech ended, she disappeared quickly.



This is how rumors get started. Do we have another Koster, Benjamin party switch in the works? Maybe, maybe not.

Perhaps she was there to get a photo op with Edwards in the pre-event room. That might pay off for her. Schneider is, as Republicans go, fairly moderate–more interested in helping out the building industry, since she and her husband are developers, than in appealing to the religious wingnuts. She sometimes votes with the Democrats, and knows that if she wants to hold that seat against Kenny Biermann next fall, she’ll have to lean somewhat to the left because Kenny came within a couple of hundred votes in ’06 of unseating her.

She makes an effort to appeal to building industry unions, like the carpenters union (the rally was held in their meeting hall). But she could use broader union support. Except for the Carpenters and Laborers Local 660, Biermann got all the union support last go round.  Could be that the explanation for her presence this morning is that we’re going to see a photo of her and Edwards on some campaign literature along with the claim that she works to protect union jobs.

Another possibility is that Schneider might be thinking of running for mayor of O’Fallon next year. Perhaps she’s just setting herself up as a moderate choice against Cynthia Davis. Maybe.

Or possibly, a la Koster and Benjamin ….