Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has secured the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in the Show Me State.
Schmitt won the race handily, beating out closest opponents Rep. Vicky Hartzler and former Gov. Eric Greitens (R-MO) by a solid margin. With 46 percent reporting, the attorney general took 45 percent of the vote, essentially doubling Hartzler in second place at 23.1 percent, according to the Associated Press election results compiled by the New York Times. Greitens sat at third after garnering 19.4 percent of the vote.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has won the GOP primary for U.S. Senate in the state. It’s a relief for Mitch McConnell and other establishment Republicans, who feared ex-Gov. Eric Greitens would win and potentially cost the party a safe seat. https://t.co/S3Smwly2dn
— The Associated Press (@AP) August 3, 2022
Schmitt’s victory comes a day after a comical endorsement from former President Donald J. Trump, who voiced his support for “ERIC” in the race without specifying if he was backing Greitens or Schmitt:
This is a BIG Election in the Great State of Missouri, and we must send a MAGA Champion and True Warrior to the U.S. Senate, someone who will fight for Border Security, Election Integrity, our Military and Great Veterans, together with having a powerful toughness on Crime and the Border. We need a person who will not back down to the Radical Left Lunatics who are destroying our Country. I trust the Great People of Missouri, on this one, to make up their own minds, much as they did when they gave me landslide victories in the 2016 and 2020 Elections, and I am therefore proud to announce that ERIC has my Complete and Total Endorsement.
Schmitt and Greitens claimed the endorsement, and throughout the race, they both painted themselves as the true America First candidate in a months-long battle for Trump’s backing. Greitens had set the tone in the contest last year, pledging to vote Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) out of leadership in the U.S. Senate. Schmitt echoed the sentiment in the days leading up to the primary, stating he does not endorse McConnell as leader. In the end, millions of dollars in negative advertising proved to be too much for the former governor to overcome.
For her part, Hartzler fared exceptionally well in her district, which served as her stronghold, but the loyalty among her constituents was not enough to push her through the finish line. What very well could have prevented Hartzler from a closer contest with Schmitt was Trump’s rejection of her as an America First candidate, telling voters they could “forget about” her in the race.
It remains to be seen if Schmitt will face Trudy Busche-Valentine or Lucas Kunce in the general election.