Rep. David Gregory (R-St. Louis County) left it all on the field in the Republican Primary for Auditor that pitted a state representative against a sitting statewide official with the support of the Missouri political establishment and will continue on with his bright future in Missouri politics.
The State Auditor primary received little attention in the shadow of a crowded U.S. Senate primary, but the Gregory campaign clearly made the case that Missourians are hungry for a new type of leader.
His campaign raised over $1 million against the backdrop of Fitzpatrick’s substantial financial support, including the sitting governor and lieutenant governor, forcing Fitzpatrick to have to work for his primary win.
Gregory is an attorney and an accountant, which was a skillset he championed in the race for auditor which is tasked with rooting out corruption, fraud, and abuse. As a freshman member of the Missouri House, he uncovered millions in savings for taxpayers through a fiscal opportunity audit of the Department of Revenue.
Gregory’s findings provided a blueprint for the department that audits taxpayers to look inside and audit itself. In response to this audit, then Revenue Ken Zellers created a “Strike Force Gregory” to ensure the findings were implemented.
“Strike Force Gregory” is still ongoing and implementing the savings unearthed by David Gregory. “[Gregory] rolled up his sleeves and dug in. It was very productive and very beneficial. As a result of just one of the initiatives [Gregory] brought to our attention, we have identified almost half a million dollars in cost savings and we’re just getting started. In fact, we have a quarterly meeting and talk ‘Strike Force Gregory.’ He’s relatively famous throughout the department,” said former Director of the Department of Revenue Ken Zellers.
Gregory ran a clean race for State Auditor earning the support of 80 current and former state representatives. He began his campaign being endorsed by the Missouri Fraternal Order of Police after launching his Auditor campaign in the summer of 2021.
Matt Hughes, a retired mixed martial artist, endorsed Gregory in the auditor campaign and launched a TV commercial calling Gregory a “legal badass.” His campaign also earned the endorsement of the Missouri State Council of Fire Fighters and Missouri Right to Life.
He collected a large group of major financial contributors including World Wide Technology founder David Steward. Further, Gregory’s fundraising events featured several famous athletes including St. Louis Cardinals legend Ozzie Smith, former Kansas City Chiefs Neil Smith and Deron Cherry, and former St. Louis Blues Bernie Federko, Perry Turnball, and Mike Zuke.
While Gregory fell short in the Auditor’s most believe that the capital has not seen the last of him. He’s a proven fundraiser and has built a statewide network that will serve him well in a future run. While he is exiting politics at the end of the year, many are looking forward to watching what he does next.
Brady Hays is a 2023 graduate of the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in History. He is currently attending the University of Missouri School of Law and is on pace to graduate with his JD in 2026. He has been working for the Missouri Times since early March 0f 2022.