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US Senate Tipsheet: July 2021

GOP Primary

Eric Greitens
He is the most well-known name in the race, and that is a good thing for name ID and placing well in early polling, and then there are the seedy reasons that everyone knows that Eric Greitens name.

His first fundraising quarter was a disaster, bringing in around $9,000 which would be a solid number for the first 24 hours of a state Senate campaign.

This quarter, his fundraising picked up just under $350,000, but there are a couple of astounding numbers out of his quarterly filing. First of all, of the money he raised, he blew well over half of it renting lists to email folks.

The second of the $350,000 he took in, only 11 percent of those transactions were from Missouri donors. It is clearly the most brazen example of out-of-state interests buying Missouri’s junior U.S. Senate seat in the history of our state. It is well understood why Missourians would not want their name recorded as donating to the disgraced former governor, but I don’t think anyone could have imagined how few there would be willing to associate their names with Greitens.

His campaign thus far has been funded exclusively by out-of-state special interests delivering a message of him whining about his reasons for quitting the governorship after less than a year and a half. The long-term issue could be religious conservatives. It’s hard to imagine Missouri’s religious conservative movement forfeiting any ability to critique anyone’s lifestyle for an entire generation by lowering their standards low enough to justify backing Eric Greitens for high office.

Former Gov. Eric Greitens 
Contributions this cycle: $347,968
Cash on hand: $134,551
Debt: $35,347

Eric Schmitt 
If you want to see the report that would be the complete mirror opposite of Missouri’s most famous sex pervert, it would be the fundraising report of Missouri’s top law enforcement official.

Of Eric Schmitt’s 610 contributions totaling $1.3 million, 87 percent of his contributions were from actual Missourians. Some were from long-time backers of the St. Louis Republican, such as Stephen Bauer, Tim Drury, Jean Paul Bradshaw, John Eilermann, Susan Eckelkamp, Jared Novelly, and Steven Plaster. There were a few new names that maxed out to his Senate campaign, such as William and Robert Orschel, Steven Tilley, and Steven Wynn. Rex Sinquefield and Mike Ketchmark were back supporting him in what might foreshadow an even bigger expenditure later in the campaign.

The biggest surprise on the list is probably Mark Boback who was instrumental in the Greitens for Governor campaign six years ago. However, the biggest boost for Schmitt is the litany of Herzog Company executives, including Brad Lager, who have a history in large donations and were also big donors to Greitens in 2016.

Also of note: Linn County native and national Republican top consultant Jeff Roe made a personal donation to Schmitt. While Schmitt is likely the most naturally gifted politician of the group without serious skeletons to come out, he isn’t known for the bare-knuckle attacks that are likely to come. An example is that the Greitens campaign attacked Schmitt for beginning the process of complying with the recently passed SAPA law. However, the man known as the toughest Kansas Citian since Pendegast made his reputation on being the toughest brawler in the bar.

It would have been ideal for Schmitt to have kept Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler — and looking forward, any other of the members of Congress — out of the race, but with those things out of his control he has done everything he possibly could have to cement himself as a front runner in the second quarter.

Attorney General Eric Schmitt
Contributions this cycle: $1,334,394
Cash on hand: $1,102,471
Debt: $0
Save Missouri Values PAC 
Cash on hand: $1,524,822

Vicky Hartzler 
If you want to see a mix of Missouri and foreign donors with a mix of several PACs thrown in, Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler compiled a $1 million quarter with some of it clearly from folks supporting her congressional race and several lining up behind her Senate run. It’s probable that next quarter will tell the tale on her fundraising prowess in the Senate race.

There were some folks who were on both hers and Schmitt’s reports, such as Tim Drury, Stephen Plaster, and William and Robert Orscheln. There were a few that were unique, such as Jennifer Bukowsky, Harvey Tetttlebaum, and Clyde Lear. Forres Lucas stands out as someone who has the ability to make a bigger impact on the race later.

However, what stuck out the most was the number of close friends of Senator Roy Blunt on her report such as Gregg Hartley, Roy Pfautch, Rob Monses, and Charlie Kruse. Her biggest get in all of the Blunt crew is her landing the support of Mavis Busiek, the undisputed queen of southwest Missouri Republican politics.

Congresswoman Hartzler has several advantages in the race — from being the only woman to the only candidate from rural Missouri to the only candidate with ag credentials. She will have some things to show over the course of the next few months that she can stake out ground to both statewide and in the fundraising circles, but with the current field, she has a clear shot to win.

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler
Contributions this cycle: $892,715.78
Cash on hand: $1,452,439
Debt: $0

Mark McCloskey
If you want to see a report as unique as the candidate, then Mark McCloskey’s is your pick. He raised over half a million dollars in a very short time frame — mostly from small donors — and a great deal of it from outside of Missouri. He has been attending events all around the state, and it’s almost impressive to see the number of Republicans who want a selfie with him.

Now the question is: Will all of those who post a selfie with him vote for him?

He is a much deeper thinker than the thing everyone knows about him and has a pretty long track record of supporting Republicans.

The bigger question is: How will the first-time candidate hold up to the intense scrutiny that his obvious popularity will bring him. I just started getting press releases from Palm Strategies so he is establishing some traditional campaign infrastructure. My stein of knowledge says don’t underestimate him.

Mark McCloskey
Contributions this cycle: $561,255
Cash on hand: $167,417
Debt: $0

Democratic Primary

The Democratic primary will be a pretty fluid affair with former Sen. Scott Sifton having the infrastructure and the relationships from being perhaps the most effective Democratic state senator of the past decade. It appears that Lucas Kunce has the ability to raise money with Tim Shepard and Spencer Toder trying to catch a grassroots fire.

The big question is: Does former Gov. Jay Nixon, the man who more Missourians have voted for than any Missourian in state history see Greitens as the likely nominee and jump in?

Former state Sen. Scott Sifton
Contributions this cycle: $200,002
Cash on hand: $101,643
Debt: $0

Lucas Kunce
Contributions this cycle: $629,342
Cash on hand: $324,708.80
Debt: $0

Timothy Shepard
Contributions this cycle: $19,434
Cash on hand: $12,417
Debt: $7,619

Spencer Toder
Contributions this cycle: $33,352
Cash on hand: $6,534
Debt: $16,308