The criticism was odd, because Skelton usually isn't in the political cross hairs. It also seemed strange that Republicans would spend time and money attacking a lawmaker that won re-election last year with over 60 percent of the vote.
Strange, of course, unless there was going to be a serious effort to unseat him.
Skelton's district - which runs includes Jefferson City, some Lake of the Ozarks counties and parts of southwest Missouri - is a fairly Republican district. "MO-4" is home to a number of sitting Republican legislators that could hypothetically challenge the veteran Democratic congressman.
So far, there's been rumblings from at least two pols about challenging Skelton in next year's election cycle.
The first possibility is state Rep. Tom Self. Springfield News-Leader reporter Chad Livengood reported a few weeks ago that the Cole Camp Republican was mulling a bid against Skelton. The term-limited state represenative, according to Livengood, is perturbed about a ban on youth-sized motorcycles and ATVs.
Another possibility is Sen. Bill Stouffer, R-Napton. Aaron Baker, an aide to Stouffer, sent out a tweet two days ago pointing out a Facebook group called "Draft Stouffer for Congress." The group was started by Central Methodist University student Rachael Selby and currently has over 110 members.
It's hard to ascertain intentions through Facebook. But it is worth noting that the last person to have a "draft" group on Facebook - Ed Martin - announced yesterday that he was launching an exploratory committee to run against U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-St. Louis.
Stouffer, a farmer by trade, represents a pretty large state Senate district stretching from Howard County to the Kansas City exurbs. His district includes Skelton's home county of Lafayette. As the chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, Stouffer is best known around the Missouri Capitol for dealing with transportatin-related issues.
Hypothetically, there are several other GOP state lawmakers who could make a run at Skelton. They include Sens. Carl Vogel, R-Jefferson City, Delbert Scott, R-Lowry City, David Pearce, R-Warrensburg, and Dan Clemens, R-Marshfield. Vogel, Scott and Clemens are term limited.
It's always noteworthy to have somebody with elected experience run for Congress. But all of these potential Republican candidates face challenges.
First, Skelton has proven adept at winning in an overwhelmingly Republican district. He's defeated some relatively well-known GOP challengers in the past - including former Lt. Gov. Bill Phelps and Wendell Bailey. He'll likely use the power of his incumbency to raise a great deal of money for any challenging re-election bid.
The other thing worth noting is that above candidates are in some cases regional political figures. Vogel, for instance, is probably unknown in Webster County. Pearce and Clemens is likely not known to most folks in Jefferson City. And even senators with big districts like Stouffer and Scott will have to boost their name recognition in a congressional contest.
Of course, any nominee could boost their visibility if the national Republican Party decides to play ball in the race. That's not a sure thing given Skelton's electoral track record, but anything is possible in the world of politics.
By the way, Congressional Quarterly rated MO-4 as "safe." That means the incumbent is almost virtually guranteed to win re-election.