Tags: missouri | gop | senate | election

Missouri GOP Senate Race to Be a 'Free-for-All'

eric greitens stands outside
In this May 17, 2018, file photo, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens stands off to the side before stepping up to the podium to deliver remarks to a small group of supporters near the capitol announcing the release of funds for the state's biodiesel program in Jefferson City, Mo. (Jeff Roberson/AP Photo)

By Friday, 02 April 2021 10:41 AM Current | Bio | Archive

With polls showing the highly controversial former Gov. Eric Greitens with a big lead in the Republican primary for U.S. Senator in Missouri, other Republican heavyweights are jumping in or poised to get in the race to succeed retiring Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.

“Here Comes the Senate Free-For-All,” blared the headline Thursday of the much-read “Missouri Scout” on-line political newsletter.

Already, State Attorney General Eric Schmitt has become a candidate. Considered a supporter of former President Trump, Schmitt also met in Washington D.C. recently with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R.-KY — no friend of Trump’s — and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

“Defeating socialism” is how Schmitt described his reason for wanting to be senator.

Show-Me State sources told Newsmax six-term Rep. Vicky Hartzler has been sending strong signals she will run for the Senate and has reportedly encouraged potential successors to her House seat.

Hartzler, 60, earned notice from Republicans nationwide after unseating 34-year Democrat Rep. Ike Skelton in the 4th District (suburban Kansas City). Unbeatable for re-election, Hartzler is pro-life across the board, rejects climate change, and takes a hard-line stand against China.

Rep. Jason Smith, who represents the “Bootheel” district that is home to the late Rush Limbaugh, was thought to be poised to jump in the race. But during a private dinner with Republican legislators in Jefferson City last week, one source told Newsmax, “Jason said he won’t make an announcement ‘for months,’ which left many with the impression that — contrary to the impression he has left with people he’s been calling — he won’t run after all.”

Smith, 41, is a member of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee and considered to have considerable fund-raising prowess. Bill Stepien, Trump’s close campaign advisor, is expected to manage a Smith campaign if he runs for the Senate.

In just the last few days, there has been fresh attention on five-term Rep. Ann Wagner. Both the congresswoman and husband Ray have reportedly been working the phones drumming up possible support for the race.

Long considered an “establishment Republican” with close ties to the Bush family, onetime Republican National Committee co-chairman and St. Louis-area Rep. Wagner actually withdrew her endorsement of Donald Trump in 2016, came back to say she was voting for him, and was later a strong Trump backer in Congress.

A recent poll conducted among likely Republican voters in Missouri showed Greitens leading with 48%, followed by Schmitt (11%), Wagner (9%) and Smith (7%).

The poll was conducted by Trump pollsters Tony Fabrizio, David Lee, and Travis Tunis.

A week before the survey came out, a Remington/Missouri Scout poll showed Greitens leading Schmitt 31% to 18% with Smith trailing at 9% and 12%.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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John-Gizzi
With polls showing the highly controversial former Gov. Eric Greitens with a big lead in the Republican primary for U.S. Senator in Missouri, other Republican heavyweights are jumping in or poised to get in the race to succeed retiring Sen. Roy Blunt...
missouri, gop, senate, election
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2021-41-02
Friday, 02 April 2021 10:41 AM
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