JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri Attorney General and U.S. Senate candidate Josh Hawley is headed to Indianapolis this month to attend a fundraiser headlined by Vice President Mike Pence.
Hawley and Mike Braun of Indiana are both seeking U.S. Senate bids, with Pence adding weight to their candidacies, but the Vice President reportedly canceled a fundraiser for Hawley in the Show-Me State. The event had been scheduled for Wednesday, May 9. Instead, Hawley will travel to Pence’s home state.
Pence’s office said back in April that it had canceled that rally and fundraiser because of a scheduling conflict, but some speculate that the political environment, particularly surrounding Gov. Eric Greitens, is too toxic for Pence.
A White House spokeswoman said that the event, scheduled to take place in Springfield, was never confirmed, but said that the Vice President plans to come to the state in the following weeks and that the Hawley fundraiser would happen at a later time.
The spokeswoman said Pence now must be in Washington on May 9 for a Cabinet meeting and Latin America Policy Lunch with the Council of the Americas Board of Directors. Pence also is scheduled to address a plenary session of the Organization of American States gathering that week.
The May 9th Pence fundraiser for Hawley was set to cost between $1,000 per person to $25,000 per couple for various levels of interaction with Pence.
The event also comes just days before the criminal trial against Gov. Eric Greitens, whom Pence supported in 2016 during his run for governor. The Missouri Legislature could also make a move for the impeachment of Greitens soon.
Greitens has often looked to the vice president and his home state in the initiatives and plans he has sought to implement in Missouri, and Pence’s chief of staff, Nick Ayers, is a former Greitens’ campaign operative.
Hawley, in the meantime, has been outspoken regarding the circumstances surrounding Gov. Greitens, and has provided information and evidence to both the House special investigative committee as well as the St. Louis City Prosecutor.
The Indianapolis fundraiser is scheduled for May 18, with an email to Republican contributors from Pence’s team saying that the event “would benefit the campaign committees of Indiana Senate Candidate Mike Braun and Missouri Senate Candidate Josh Hawley, along with the National Republican Senatorial Committee.”
Benjamin Peters is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine, and also produces the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined the Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield. To contact Benjamin, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.