Martin, 47, of St. Louis County, an attorney by training, for years has been staking out the right edge of Missouri politics, generally with controversy in tow.
As chief of staff for Republican Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt in 2007, Martin allegedly used state computers to whip up opposition to Democrats, then allegedly lied to the media about the existence of those computer records, then fired a staff attorney who tried to get the office to follow the law. In the end, Martin resigned, Blunt’s single term was sullied and the state was out about $2 million in legal fees and settlements.
After failed campaigns for Congress and Missouri attorney general, Martin became chairman of the Missouri GOP in 2013, a post he held for a tumultuous two years.
Martin became the right-hand man to Schlafly, the Alton-based conservative icon who was by then elderly — and whose support for Trump in the 2016 primaries, spurning more traditional conservative candidates, dismayed many of her family-values-oriented followers.
Schlafly’s daughter and others blamed Martin, an ardent Trump supporter from early on. Schlafly died in 2016 at 92 with her children embroiled in a tangle of litigation. Martin controls one of her nonprofits but has been expelled from another.