St. Louis, Mo. – State Auditor Tom Schweich confirmed long rumors today when he formally announced his intentions to seek the Republican from the Millennium Student Center at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
“Time to put a true anti-corruption expert in the governor’s mansion,” Schweich said to a small crowd.
Schweich will be challenging former Missouri House Speaker Catherine Hanaway, who was been formally in the race for a while. The two are likely destined to run a particularly bloody primary. Schweich has already shown he is willing to spend much of the race blasting Hanaway’s perceived cushy relationship with conservative Missouri mega-donor, Rex Sinquefield, who accounts for nearly all of Hanaway’s early cash.
“[Hanaway’s] fundraising has been among the worst in the history of modern governor’s races,” Schweich said. “Koster, too, will switch positions on a dime. Well, it takes more than a dime.”
Schweich is a former U.S. Coordinator for Counternarcotics and Justice Reform in Afghanistan and was made an Ambassador by President Geroge. W. Bush.
Hanaway, who was a critical player for Missouri Republicans in re-taking the majority in the state legislature, has a loyal group of current and former lawmakers with long ties with the former Speaker.
Schweich and Hanaway will battle for the right to battle Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster who appears more and more likely to be avoiding a primary challenge altogether on the Democratic ticket.
Schweich’s announcement soon became a lengthy treatise first on what a “Schweich Administration” would look like — featuring calls for newer ethics reform and government efficiency through incentive programs — before quickly turning into an impressively-detailed assault on Hanaway, Koster, and Sinquefield.
Schweich eviscerated Sinquefield in a tone perhaps never before heard from Republicans in Missouri. Schweich called the considerable Sinquefield political operation “paid mercenaries” and said they “weren’t bound by the same ethical standards” as others.
Collin Reischman was the Managing Editor for The Missouri Times, and a graduate of Webster University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.