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Missouri Right to Life endorses candidates in key Senate primaries

Jefferson City, Mo — Missouri Right to Life (MRL), Missouri’s most impactful pro-life political action committee (PAC) released eleven endorsements for state Senate races Wednesday morning.

The PAC has held repeated meetings over the last several weeks to settle on its endorsements, according to a press release.

Several of the endorsements are notable, endorsing candidates in races that are expected to be competitive.

The Missouri Times compiled the endorsements that will impact Missouri’s biggest Senate races.

Nick Schroer (Senate District 2)

Rep. Nick Schroer, R-O’Fallon, finds himself in a two-way race to replace term-limited Sen. Bob Onder.

Schroer’s Republican primary against Speaker Pro Tempore John Wiemann, R-O’Fallon, is expected to be one of the state’s most tightly contested and expensive races.

Schroer’s endorsement will grant him a bigger slice of the pro-life voter base in SD 2. The pro-lifers will be important to him as Wiemann is expected to do well with businesses and has stronger roots in the district, serving on the O’Fallon Chamber of Commerce.

“I am incredibly honored to be the only candidate endorsed by Missouri Right to Life,” Schroer said. “Many constituents I have visited with are pleased to know I sponsored and passed the strongest Heartbeat Bill in American History and passed several bills to defund Planned Parenthood.”

Curtis Trent (Senate District 20)

Much like Schroer, Rep. Curtis Trent, R-Springfield, is in a two-man race against an opponent who is expected to do well with businesses.

Trent runs against businessman Brian Gelner in SD 20. Both candidates have done well in fundraising, but Gelner has raised massive amounts of capital for the race, with over $370,000 on hand at the end of the first quarter.

The endorsement for Trent stands as a way to build momentum as he tries to keep pace with Gelner’s monetary advantage.

The endorsement strengthens Trent’s message as an established politician with a proven conservative record, a definitive distinction between him and Gelner, who has not served in state politics previously.

“I’m very honored to have Missouri Right to Life’s endorsement in this race,” Trent said. “I think their endorsement helps voters know which candidate they can rely on to fight for the unborn.”

Mary Elizabeth Coleman (Senate District 22)

This endorsement took place June 13, and comes as no surprise. Rep. Mary Elizabeth Coleman, R-Arnold, has become the face of Missouri’s pro-life legislators.

This endorsement will not secure an additional voter-base for Coleman in the primary, she was already expected to dominate the pro-life demographic. However, the PAC’s support will give Coleman more fundraising options.

Coleman has the most momentum in terms of contributions, outraising her primary opponents Rep. Dan Shaul, R-Imperial, Former Rep. Jeff Roorda and Rep. Shane Roden, R-Cedar Hill in the first quarter of 2022.

Roorda and Shaul ended the quarter with an edge in cash-on-hand, though Roorda took out a $130,000 loan during the first quarter.

Coleman’s access to more PAC money will be useful for her as she attempts to close the gap between her and her opponents, especially with the prospect of big-money donors and lobbyists getting involved as the race progresses.

“I am honored that the work we have accomplished defending life has been recognized with this endorsement,” Coleman said. “I pledge to continue the fight in the State Senate to protect the most vulnerable, including all unborn children.”

Delus Johnson (Senate District 12)

Johnson has consistently touted himself as the most conservative candidate in the SD 12 primary, securing the only MRL endorsement in the SD 12 race is important to solidifying that platform.

The endorsement will give Johnson more broad appeal to the sprawling district, which covers 18 and a half rural counties in Northwest Missouri.

Johnson’s ability to use the MRL endorsement as broad voter coverage will be important as he has less connections to the district than his opponents Rep. Rusty Black, R-Chillicothe and Rep. J Eggleston, R-Maysville.

In what is expected to be a more grass-roots campaign than the other more notable Senate races, Johnson has gotten an edge to help him build his network outside of his native St. Joseph, Mo.

I am very honored to be the only district 12 candidate that is endorsed by Missouri Right to Life,” Johnson said. “I will continue to protect life in the Missouri Senate. This not only includes protecting life in the mother’s womb but also stopping embryonic stem cell research that destroys life.”

The full list of MRL’s endorsements can be viewed below.

SD2    Nick Schroer (R) – Single Endorsement – Open Seat (House Co-Sponsor of the Heartbeat Bill and Trigger Bill to end abortion when Roe is overturned)

SD4    Mary Theresa McLean (R) – Single Endorsement Running against Senator Karla May.

SD6    Scott Riedel (R) – Single Endorsement –Running against Senator Mike Bernskoetter.

SD8    Joe Nicola (R) – Duel Endorsement – Running against Senator Mike Cierpiot.

   Rachl Aguirre (R) – Duel Endorsement – Running against Senator Mike Cierpiot.

SD10   Bryan Spencer (R) – Single Endorsement – Open Seat race left open by term-limited incumbent Jeannie Riddle.

SD12   Delus Johnson (R) – Single Endorsement – Open Seat race left open by term-limited incumbent Dan Hegeman. 

SD20   Curtis Trent (R) – Single Endorsement – Open Seat race left open by Sen. Eric Burlison who is running for Congress.

SD22   Mary Elizabeth Coleman (R) – Single Endorsement –  Open Seat race left open by term-limited incumbent Paul Wieland. 

SD26   Ben Brown (R) – Duel Endorsement – Open Seat race left open by term-limited incumbent Dave Schatz.

   Bob Jones (R) – Duel Endorsement –  Open Seat race left open by term-limited incumbent Dave Schatz.

SD30   Angela Romine (R) – Single Endorsement – Running against incumbent Sen. Lincoln Hough. 

SD32   Jill Carter (R) – Single Endorsement – Running against incumbent Sen. Bill White.

Featured Image: Rep. Mary Elizabeth Coleman, speaks at a meeting of the House Children and Families Committee in Jefferson City. Coleman has been Missouri’s most stringent pro-life legislator. (HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS/TIM BOMMEL)