JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Sen. Will Kraus released a new video on his campaign website today in which the candidate for Missouri Secretary of State “reflects on his military service.”
Kraus, who has already declared his candidacy for 2016, appears to be preparing to face Secretary of State Jason Kander — who frequently touts his own military service — well before any other Republicans declare their interest in the job.
Kraus’ video features the suburban Kansas City-area senator recounting a “close call” he encountered while flying Chinook helicopters in Iraq as a member of the U.S. Army Reserve. Kraus’ wife makes an appearance near the end as the pair discuss how their faith helped them survive the emotional turmoil of a family member serving in war.
The video ends with no “support” or “vote for” taglines, merely Kraus’ name. While not an explicitly political video, Kraus is clearly hoping to clear a primary field and establish his own military service narrative — a narrative that served Kander well.
Should the two face off in 2016 there will be no shortage of photographs and campaign materials featuring both men serving on foreign soil. Kraus flew in Iraq during 2003 and later served as an Air Mission Commander, and he is currently a Major in the Missouri National Guard.
Kander served in Afghanistan in 2006 after having originally sought military service after the events of September 11 — a frequently tagline of the Democrat’s campaigns — as a Military Intelligence Officer in the Army Reserves. Kander investigated espionage, drug trafficking and more in Afghanistan before serving as a combat leadership instructor at Fort Leonard Wood.
Both men hail from the western side of the state as Kansas City-based politicians. Kraus served in the House before ascending to the Senate while Kander sprang from the House to the SOS office after narrowly defeating then-Rep. Shane Schoeller, R-Springfield.
Kraus currently has no other declared contenders in his own party for the post.
Collin Reischman was the Managing Editor for The Missouri Times, and a graduate of Webster University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.