cloudyn.png
Wednesday August 17th, 2022 9:46PM

Missouri AG Schmitt wins GOP Senate race, to face Valentine

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt won the Republican primary for U.S. Senate on Tuesday with surprising ease, ending months of worry among GOP leaders that scandal-scarred former Gov. Eric Greitens might win the primary and jeopardize what should be a reliably red seat in November.

In November, Schmitt will be opposed by Anheuser-Busch beer heiress Trudy Busch Valentine, who defeated Marine veteran Lucas Kunce and nine others in the Democratic primary. Both also face a challenge from a well-funded independent, John Wood, who has the financial backing of former Sen. John Danforth.

With nearly 90% of results in, Schmitt had more votes than his nearest two competitors — U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler and Greitens — combined, turning what was expected to be a tight race into a blowout.

“I’m proud of my working-class roots, and I’m going to Washington to fight for working families, defeating socialism, and leading the fight to save America,” Schmitt said in his victory speech in suburban St. Louis.

Greitens told a downcast crowd in another St. Louis suburb to “go home with strength and pride.”

"God has a plan,” Greitens said. “It doesn’t always work on our timeline, but it does work on his. Sometimes we have to practice patience.”

Greitens resigned four years ago following a sex scandal, two criminal charges that were eventually dropped and a legislative investigation that could have led to impeachment hearings. This year, his ex-wife accused him of abuse.

Republican Sen. Roy Blunt’s announcement last year that he would not seek a third term set off a frenzy for his job, with nearly three dozen people in the two major parties filing to run.

Schmitt defeated a field that also included Hartzler, U.S. Rep. Billy Long and Mark McCloskey, who gained notoriety in 2020 when he and his wife pointed guns at racial injustice protesters outside their home.

Voter Darrel Durham, a 63-year-old heavy equipment operator from Columbia, said he thinks Schmitt can bring a new voice to Washington.

“I like all of his positions on draining the swamp,” Durham said.

On Monday, former President Donald Trump expressed support for “ERIC,” presumably meaning either Schmitt or Greitens, without picking between them. Comedian and Navy veteran Eric McElroy was also on the ballot in the GOP primary.

“I trust the Great People of Missouri, on this one, to make up their own minds, much as they did when they gave me landslide victories in the 2016 and 2020 Elections, and I am therefore proud to announce that ERIC has my Complete and Total Endorsement!” Trump wrote.

Voter Richard Greenup, a 66-year-old computer programmer from Columbia, said he wants “somebody that’s going to support Trump” and that he chose Schmitt over Greitens because, “good or bad, Schmitt, I don’t think, has that baggage.”

Greitens, a former Navy SEAL officer and Rhodes scholar, had been governor for a year when in January 2018 he confirmed a TV report about a 2015 extramarital affair. He was subsequently charged with felony invasion of privacy for allegedly taking a nude photo of the woman and using it to keep her quiet. That charge was dropped months later amid allegations that the chief investigator and local prosecutor mishandled the investigation.

Greitens, 48, says he was the victim of a political hit.

He faced a second charge accusing him of illegally using a donor list from a charity he founded to raise money for his campaign. That was dropped when he resigned in June 2018 after the Missouri House began an impeachment investigation.

Greitens has denied the abuse allegations from his ex-wife that she made in an affidavit in a child custody case. She cited one instance where he allegedly slapped their then-3-year-old son's face and yanked him by the hair. In another, she accused him of pushing her to the ground.

Greitens also drew criticism for a June campaign video showing him brandishing a shotgun and declaring he’s hunting RINOs, or Republicans in name only.

Schmitt, 47, has gained attention for lawsuits that critics contend are politically motivated. He sued China over the coronavirus; school districts over mask mandates; and the city of St. Louis over its plan to provide $1 million for women to travel out of state for abortions.

“I’ve always been a fighter and as your attorney general I have fought in court to protect our those liberties,” Schmitt said in his victory speech, citing mask and vaccine mandates, among other things.

Valentine, 65, is the daughter of August “Gussie” Busch Jr., the longtime chair and CEO of Anheuser-Busch who built the St. Louis-based company into the world’s largest beermaker. The brewery was sold to InBev in 2008. Valentine said she entered the race after witnessing the “division in our country and the vitriol in our politics.”

“After hundreds of career politicians, it’s time for a nurse in the Senate," Valentine said in a victory speech.

Bob Westlake, 67, and his wife, Mary Jo, 69, both voted for Valentine. The Chesterfield couple liked her push for better health care coverage.

“Health care is a big deal to us,” Bob Westlake said, adding that they have a daughter with a chronic illness and that he and his wife are on Medicare.

Kunce, 39, lost despite the endorsement of Sen. Bernie Sanders. Kunce served tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. Like Senate candidate John Fetterman in Pennsylvania, Kunce fashioned himself as a populist.

Wood's entry into the race created new drama. Wood, 52, is a lifelong Republican, former U.S. attorney and most recently a top investigator for the U.S. House committee examining the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection. Danforth's PAC has pledged to spend up to $20 million in support of Wood's campaign.

___

Salter reported from O'Fallon, Missouri. Associated Press writer David A. Lieb contributed from Jefferson City, Missouri.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, General Senate Election News
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Arizona GOP primary tests power of Trump's election lies
The Republican Party’s embrace of Donald Trump’s election lies is being tested in Arizona
11:57PM ( 6 minutes ago )
Vin Scully, Dodgers broadcaster for 67 years, dies at 94
Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully, whose dulcet tones provided the soundtrack of summer while entertaining and informing Dodgers fans in Brooklyn and Los Angeles for 67 years, died Tuesday night, the team said
11:54PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Osaka wins at San Jose in 1st match since May
Four-time major champion Naomi Osaka won the first match she’s played since May, beating Zheng Qinwen 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 on at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic
11:53PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Missouri AG Eric Schmitt beats Greitens in GOP Senate race
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has defeated scandal-scarred former Gov. Eric Greitens and 19 others in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate
11:09PM ( 54 minutes ago )
Squad member Cori Bush defeats challenger in Missouri race
Democratic Rep. Cori Bush, a member of the progressive Squad in Congress, has fended off a primary challenger in Missouri
10:48PM ( 1 hour ago )
Kansas voters protect abortion rights, block path to ban
Kansas voters have protected abortion rights by rejecting a measure that would have allowed the Republican-controlled Legislature to tighten abortion restrictions or ban it outright
10:40PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump face primaries
Three Republican U.S. House members who voted to impeach Donald Trump over the Jan. 6 insurrection are being challenged in Tuesday’s primary elections by rivals endorsed by the former president
6:36PM ( 5 hours ago )
All eyes on ex-Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens in Senate primary
Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens hopes to complete a stunning political comeback as voters narrow the field for a pivotal spot in the U.S. Senate
6:14PM ( 5 hours ago )
US House Speaker Pelosi arrives in Taiwan, defying Beijing
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has arrived in Taiwan
5:21PM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Producer Janet Yang elected president of film academy
Producer Janet Yang has been elected the 36th president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
8:38PM ( 3 hours ago )
Same-sex marriage plaintiff Obergefell runs for Ohio office
Jim Obergefell is hoping that Democrats can win back seats at the Ohio Statehouse and beyond this fall with a message grounded in his landmark U.S. Supreme Court fight for same-sex marriage
10:29AM ( 13 hours ago )
Latest primaries feature deniers for state election posts
Republican primary voters in Arizona and Kansas are deciding whether to elevate loyalists to former President Donald Trump who support his false claims that he won the 2020 election and send them to the general election
9:32AM ( 14 hours ago )
AP Elections
Trolling along: Fetterman going big on social media vs. Oz
In one of this year’s most competitive U.S. Senate races, the biggest moments aren't playing out on the campaign trail
11:36AM ( 3 days ago )
Fealty to Trump defines Republican Senate primary in Arizona
The race for Arizona Senate doesn't fit easily into the Donald Trump vs
10:39AM ( 3 days ago )
Fetterman harnesses power of social media in Senate campaign
In one of this year’s most competitive U.S. Senate races, the biggest moments aren't playing out on the campaign trail
12:23AM ( 3 days ago )
General Senate Election News
Arizona GOP primary tests power of Trump's election lies
The Republican Party’s embrace of Donald Trump’s election lies is being tested in Arizona
11:57PM ( 6 minutes ago )
Vin Scully, Dodgers broadcaster for 67 years, dies at 94
Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully, whose dulcet tones provided the soundtrack of summer while entertaining and informing Dodgers fans in Brooklyn and Los Angeles for 67 years, died Tuesday night, the team said
11:54PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Osaka wins at San Jose in 1st match since May
Four-time major champion Naomi Osaka won the first match she’s played since May, beating Zheng Qinwen 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 on at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic
11:53PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Dixon wins Michigan GOP governor primary, to face Whitmer
Businesswoman and conservative commentator Tudor Dixon has won the Republican primary for Michigan governor
11:49PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Takeaways: Abortion backlash in Kansas, Greitens' collapse
In one of the biggest days of this year's primary campaign season, red-state Kansas rejected a measure that would have made it easier to restrict abortion, and voters in Missouri repudiated a scandal-tarred former governor seeking a Senate seat
11:46PM ( 18 minutes ago )