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Gubernatorial campaigns attack each other in State of the Race statements

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The two major party gubernatorial candidates have already begun to attack one another in their campaign State of the Race statements.

Democrat Attorney General Chris Koster and the Republican nominee Eric Greitens both railed against one another using words like “hypocrite,” “corrupt,” “con man,” “out-of-touch,” and “self-obsessed.”

Attorney General Chris Koster at the 2016 State of the State Address.
Attorney General Chris Koster at the 2016 State of the State Address.

Andrew Whalen, Koster’s campaign manager, said in his State of the Race that Greitens has violated many of his own calls for improved ethics in the Capitol by taking money from donors under investigation for allegations of sexual and physical abuse and Wall Street brokers under investigation for insider trading.

“While he has funded his campaign committee with millions of dollars from these questionable, coastal donors, phony ‘outsider’ Greitens has also been the beneficiary of millions more from secret Super PACs attacking his opponents,” Whalen writes. “This leaves Missourians wondering just who owns Eric Greitens and who he is fighting for because it is certainly not Missouri families.”

Whalen also criticized Greitens for purchasing domain names hinting he would run for lieutenant governor, U.S. Senate or even president.

“It is clear that Greitens only cares about getting elected to an office – any office – not serving the people of Missouri,” Whalen said. “In Eric Greitens, Missouri Republicans have selected a massive hypocrite who is too focused on his own self-promotion and lacks the temperament to lead Missouri into the future.”

Greitens’ campaign manager Austin Chambers did not pull any punches either in his State of the Race, calling Koster a “corrupt and failed career politician” on more than one occasion in the statement.

Eric Greitens campaigns in Jefferson City

“Under Chris Koster, Missourians are hurting because jobs are leaving and paychecks aren’t growing, kids aren’t getting a quality education, and our neighborhoods are less safe,” Chambers wrote.

However, Chambers spent much of the time talking up his own candidate, touting his outsider status that made a plurality of the Republican voting bloc support the former Navy SEAL. Chambers said that Greitens had won despite negative ads run against him by both his primary opponents, Koster’s campaign, and the Democratic Governor’s Association.

“Eric Greitens has never run for political office,” Chambers said. “Instead, he has spent his life serving others and bringing people together behind a common mission. As a humanitarian, as a Navy SEAL, as an educator, and as the founder and CEO of the Mission Continues, Eric has always put other people first.”

A Missouri Scout poll released Sunday shows that Koster leads Greitens by just two percentage points, 45 percent to 43.