JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Vicki Schneider, a former state representative and current candidate for the 2nd Senatorial District, sent a letter to every Republican member of the House and Senate in Missouri today claiming that one of her opponents in the race, current state Rep. Chuck Gatschenberger, R-Lake St. Louis, smeared her in a city council race last spring and lied about it.
“In my campaign efforts, it was brought to my attention that two negative mailers went out against me,” Schneider writes in the release. “Naturally, these mailers surprised me for more than one reason. First, it becomes a personal attack against my character which represents falsities and, second, this race was a small city wide race that, in my opinion, required little publication, much less the added expense in attempt to demean a candidate.”
Schneider goes on to flatly accuse Gatschenberger of conspiring to defeat her in the O’Fallon City Council race in order to weaken her for her Senate bid.
“It was determined than an ‘un-named’ individual along with Chuck Gatschenberger formulated the idea and brought it to fruition. It was stated that ‘if I can keep Vicki from winning this city council seat, then I can keep her from winning the senate seat,’” Schneider’s release says.
Gatschenberger denied the charges to The Missouri Times, calling the release “sour grapes.”
“In a word, it’s bullshit,” Gatschenberger says. “I didn’t have anything to do with any push pieces against her or anything like that. Now there is an individual who is currently running a campaign against me that did it. The person that sent [the mailers] out had nothing to do with me. I know who sent them out, but I’m not going to name them.
Schneider says she was unsurprised that Gatschenberger denied the claim, but that she spoke with some of the people involved with the mailer who confirmed his involvement. According to Schneider, Gatschenberger told her he’d “had a change of heart,” about sending out the mailers, but by the time he tried to stop them, they were already sent.
“But based on what someone else involved told me, that’s not true, it was his idea and he helped execute it,” Schneider says. “You just don’t expect something like this from your own party in a race like this. It wasn’t a primary, and it wasn’t fair game.”