GOP Missouri Attorney General Schmitt running for US Senate

Missouri’s Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt is running for U.S. Senate

Election 2022 Senate Missouri
Election 2022 Senate Missouri

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt on Wednesday announced he's making a bid to replace Roy Blunt in the Senate, setting up a Republican primary against disgraced former Gov. Eric Greitens

Schmitt is a strong contender with a record of winning statewide elections and who is backed by Missouri mega-donor Rex Sinquefield. In a written release, Schmitt pushed his conservative credentials and railed against “the radical left.”

Blunt's March 8 decision not to run for another term opened the floodgates for ambitious Republicans interested in succeeding him. But the GOP field is narrowing. Early favorite Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft bowed out, as did Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe.

Political scientists have speculated that Republicans are trying to unify around a single candidate to avoid a potentially damaging primary. Greitens' candidacy complicates that.

Greitens, who has been laying the groundwork for a comeback for months if not years, is a polarizing figure unpopular with the state's Republican establishment.

The former Navy SEAL officer was once seen as a rising star in Republican politics, possibly even a future presidential candidate.

Those aspirations seemed to vanish in 2018 when his extramarital affair was exposed. A felony charge accused him of taking a compromising photo of the woman as potential blackmail if she spoke of their encounters.

Greitens then faced a second criminal charge accusing him of using a donor list from his charity for his political campaign.

Greitens, who is now divorced but was married at the time, admitted to the affair but denied wrongdoing in both cases. Still, he resigned in June 2018 and the criminal cases were dismissed.

He maintains a core of support that could be enough to win a primary, but political observers have said the scandals that pushed him out of the governor's mansion could thwart Republicans' chances of keeping the U.S. Senate seat.

Voters first elected Schmitt to the state Senate in 2008 to represent a suburban St. Louis district. He was elected state treasurer in 2016, then took over as the state attorney general after Josh Hawley vacated the seat to join the U.S. Senate in 2019.

He won another term as attorney general in 2020.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in