Former Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) announced he won’t run for U.S. Senate in Missouri.
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Washington Post: “Few candidates have done more in recent months to court Trump, or to compare his own controversy to the scandals that enveloped the former president. Yet in a state that Trump won by 15 points in 2020, the Greitens campaign has tested the question of just how far the former president and Republican voters are willing to go to overlook past misdeeds.”
“Several Republican strategists say they worry that the lurid scandals that brought down Greitens would create an opening for a Democrats if he is the nominee, especially if former governor Jay Nixon (D) decides to run. More likely, they say, Greitens would just increase the costs for Republicans to win the state, diverting resources from other contests.”
Missouri Independent: “Those close to Nixon say he doesn’t want to jump into the race unless he sees a path to victory.”
“And while Nixon may seem appealing to party leaders who hope he can win back rural Democrats who voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020, that formula has failed in other states.”
“Former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, former Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland each ran for Senate as elder statesmen who could appeal to white, working-class voters who had become reliable Republicans.”
Politico: “Richard Uihlein, a billionaire shipping and industrial supply company executive, is donating $2.5 million to a newly formed, pro-Greitens super PAC. The cash infusion will give Eric Greitens a financial lift as many of the party’s contributors shun the former governor, who resigned from office in 2018 amid allegations that he sexually assaulted his hairstylist.”
“Greitens, who is running for the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Roy Blunt, will need the money. The former governor could face an avalanche of attacks from Republican establishment-aligned groups amid concerns from party leaders that his nomination would jeopardize the party’s hold on what should be a safe seat and imperil their prospects of winning the Senate majority.”
The Riverfront Times outdid itself with this lede:
“Noted local criminal Mark McCloskey played host to a barbecue/political rally on Sunday afternoon, drawing tens of admirers to the sweltering parking lot of a closed outlet mall in St. Louis County to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the time he pulled a gun on a crowd of people who otherwise would never have noticed or cared he existed.”
Kansas City Star: “One Republican candidate in Missouri’s Senate race skipped the state party’s annual convention last week and traveled instead to Arizona, where he toured the site of a discredited 2020 election audit and falsely claimed it could lead to decertification of the results.”
“Another contender recently announced a campaign event in the St. Louis suburbs with a former Trump administration official beloved by supporters of QAnon.”
“It’s a strategy being pursued by Republican candidates in races across the country ahead of 2022, as rhetoric from those seeking to undermine the legitimacy of President Joe Biden’s decisive victory over former President Donald Trump continues to escalate.”
Mark McCloskey, who along with his wife waved guns at protesters last year who marched past the couple’s mansion, struck a plea agreement by pleading guilty to a misdemeanor and agreeing to give up his weapons, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
McCloskey (R), who is running for U.S. Senate, will pay a $750 fine and face no jail time.
Kansas City Star: “In a worst-case scenario for Greitens’ opponents, a large primary field without a strong anti-Greitens alternative could fracture the vote and allow the former governor to win with only 20%. Missouri Republicans would be left with a nominee loathed by a significant portion of the party as control of the Senate hangs in the balance.”
“Greitens has gone to great lengths to signal he is a candidate in the Trump mold. He’s maintained a near-constant presence on right-wing, pro-Trump media, including hosting a show on the America’s Voice TV network and announcing his candidacy on Fox News.”
Missouri Independent: “According to several sources familiar with her plans, U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Harrisonville will announce her bid sometime in early June and go to Lincoln Days in full campaign mode.”
“So far, the field includes a disgraced former governor, the current attorney general and a man who blasted to internet fame by confronting protesters with a firearm in the race for Missouri’s open U.S. Senate seat.”
“Nearly a year after waving a long gun at protesters who had walked onto the street in front of his Central West End mansion, Mark McCloskey on Tuesday said he is running for U.S. Senate,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
“Missouri Republicans offered a last-minute proposal that would force U.S. Senate candidates into runoffs to win their primary election, reflecting fears that former Gov. Eric Greitens (R) could prevail next year against a divided GOP field,” the Kansas City Star reports.
“The remarkable proposal… came seemingly out of nowhere late Wednesday night with two days left in the legislative session.”
“It would apply to all statewide offices, and the Congressional and U.S. Senate seats, and only apply through 2024.”
“A former Texas mayor, whose tenure lasted only 37 days, appears to be running for U.S. Senate in Missouri,” the Kansas City Star reports.
“Dan McQueen (R) became mayor of Corpus Christi in December of 2016. He resigned a little more than a month later, after allegations that he had, among other matters, misrepresented his educational credentials and concealed a romantic relationship with a top aide.”
An internal poll conducted for former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R) shows him with a nearly 40-point lead over the next closest contender in the GOP Senate primary.
First Read: “Greitens’ Senate candidacy is risky business for a Republican Party that’s seeking to win back the Senate with a challenging map and — so far — five announced Senate GOP retirements.”
“If he’s the nominee, Republicans will have decide whether to embrace someone with this kind of record.”
“We remember when Roy Moore lost a Senate seat in Alabama (a state Trump won by 25 points in 2020), and when Kris Kobach lost the gubernatorial race in Kansas (a state Trump won by 15 points). Candidates matter.”
Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R)–who resigned to avoid being impeached for trying to hide an affair where he allegedly sexually assaulted his hairdresser–announced on Twitter he will run for the U.S. Senate.
Said Greitens: “As a Navy SEAL, I fought for this country to ensure our freedoms are protected. Now, the Left wants to take those freedoms away from you. That’s why I’m running for the US Senate in Missouri. We must fight to take America back from the lunacy of the left.”
Kansas City Star: “He faced allegations that he photographed a woman nude without her consent in 2015 in an effort to keep from speaking about an extramarital affair. Greitens, who announced a divorce last year, has admitted to the affair, but repeatedly denied claims of blackmail and violent sexual abuse.”
Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft (R) announced he would not run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by the retirement of Sen. Roy Blunt (R).
Former Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) on Twitter:
“To all that are asking: thank you to the many who have said kind things. But I will never run for office again. Nope. Not gonna happen. Never. I am so happy I feel guilty sometimes.”