the Republican gubernatorial primary saw some of its first public sparks this week when a group named Patriots for America launched a website accusing Eric Greitens of not being the conservative outsider he claims.
The group switched two letters in the spelling of the candidate’s name in the url to make ericgrietens.com, and proceeded to make a list of charges designed to show his conservatism is insincere.
Team Greitens responded with a story in the Kansas City Star connecting the Patriots for America group to the Brunner campaign. Brunner’s campaign denies any connection to the group.
Saturday, the Platte County GOP held a forum attended by Brunner, Peter Kinder, and Catherine Hanaway. After the relatively uneventful forum, Brunner operative Michael Hafner turned up the heat with a series of tweets pointing out Greitens’ absence.
…which brought a terse response from Greitens, who was attending a Marine Corps ball in Cape Girardeau. The candidate pointed blame at the Brunner campaign for the Patriots for America committee and said, “I’m new to politics, but where I come from, if you want to throw a punch, you do it and own up to it. You don’t hide behind others.”
While the two outsiders were throwing blows at each other, Kinder was one of the first to call for Governor Nixon to resist Syrian refugees being placed in Missouri.
Catherine Hanaway finished up a by all accounts successful two-week bus tour that generated a good amount of press on pro-life and pro-gun issues, and included being our guest on This Week in Missouri Politics.
The Republican drama was the backdrop to Koster remaining on message, talking mostly about the West Lake Landfill while receiving the good fortune of being attacked by anti-gun former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for, of all things, suing the Obama administration. The ad is so tone deaf it makes you wonder if its meant to help Koster reminiscent of McCaskill’s “Akin is too conservative” ads.
However, he did continue leading the pack in fundraising bringing in another $45,000 in contributions over $5,000. Greitens nearly matched him last week taking in $30,000 while Hanaway took in $10,000 and Kinder $5,000.
In the Attorney General’s race, Senator Kurt Schaefer was under attack from MSNBC and Al-Jazeera for his efforts to stop the University of Missouri from spending taxpayer funds on abortions and calling for professor Melissa Click to be fired. While his opponent, University of Missouri professor Josh Hawley, did take in a $10,000 contribution from an Illinois CEO.
Speaking of fundraising, a couple standout contributions from the week prior were a $5,000 donation to Rep. Dave Hinson foreshadowing his run for re-election and a $50,000 contribution to Eric Greitens from very influential GOP donor Howard Wood.
There was a big shake up in one of the marquee state senate races when Rep. Mark Parkinson dropped his bid for the 23rd state senate seat leaving Rep. Anne Zerr and businessman Bill Eigel vying of the seat.
With one of the most exciting gubernatorial races in over a decade headlining a ballot full of intriguing races in 2016 we have decided to bring you a collection of stories and anecdotes each week from the campaign trail that we have we’re calling Texts from the Trail.
Scott Faughn is the publisher of The Missouri Times, owner of the Clayton Times in Clayton, Mo; SEMO Times in Poplar Bluff, Mo.; and host of the only statewide political television show, This Week in Missouri Politics.