Schmitt defeats Busch beer heir in Missouri U.S. Senate race

Nov 8, 2022, 2:00 AM | Updated: 10:33 pm
Republican Eric Schmitt hugs supporters after delivering a victory speech, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, i...

Republican Eric Schmitt hugs supporters after delivering a victory speech, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Maryland Heights, Mo. Schmitt defeated Democratic challenger Trudy Busch Valentine in the U.S. Senate race. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

O’FALLON, Mo. (AP) — Republican Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt won election to the U.S. Senate Tuesday, defeating Democrat Trudy Busch Valentine and keeping what’s considered a safe Republican seat in GOP hands as the party fought for control of the Senate.

Schmitt, 47, will take the seat occupied for the past 12 years by Republican Roy Blunt, who announced in March 2021 he would not seek a third term — ending a half-century career in politics.

Schmitt largely campaigned against Democratic President Joe Biden and inflation, characterizing Valentine during the campaign as an out-of-touch heiress who would side with the Democratic president over Missourians. Valentine’s campaign catch-phrase was “nobody’s senator but yours,” and she slammed Schmitt for voting as a state senator to allow foreign ownership of farmland and over his support for the state’s ban on abortion.

“Tonight, let’s be clear,” Schmitt told supporters gathered in St. Louis County. “The Biden administration’s unchecked assault on our jobs, on our families, on our liberties, on our values must end. And a new era of fighting back and speaking out for the rights of parents and small business owners and working families is just beginning.”

To those who didn’t vote for him, Schmitt said, “I hope to earn your trust in the Senate because I intend to be a senator for all Missourians.”

Valentine wiped away tears as she spoke to her supporters, urging them to never give up “because there is too much at stake.”

“Tonight did not end the way we hoped,” Valentine said. “Many of us are feeling scared right now. We’re worried about about Missouri’s future and the future erosion of our rights. We feel discouraged because we worked so hard and it’s easy to feel like that work didn’t matter.”

But Valentine said the work did matter “because we reached so many Missourians in every corner of our state.”

Missouri was once a swing state but has become solidly Republican over the past decade. Valentine had plenty of money to spend — she’s the daughter of the late longtime Anheuser-Busch chairman, August Busch Jr. But she lacked name recognition and her campaign never gained momentum.

Schmitt himself has moved to the right since Gov. Mike Parson appointed him attorney general after Josh Hawley was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2018. As a state senator from suburban St. Louis, Schmitt earned a reputation as a moderate willing to work with Democrats. He was elected state treasurer in 2016.

As attorney general, he has filed dozens of lawsuits, many of which were criticized as politically-motivated. He sued school districts over mask mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic. He sued China over the origins of the pandemic, a case that was tossed out by a judge. And since Democrat Joe Biden defeated Republican Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election, Schmitt has been involved in more than two dozen lawsuits against the federal government. Schmitt said it’s part of his responsibility as attorney general to stand up to what he views as “disastrous” federal policies.

Schmitt’s win in the general election followed a surprisingly easy win in what was expected to be a competitive Republican primary in August. That race also featured former Gov. Eric Greitens, U.S. Reps. Vicky Hartzler and Billy Long, and others.

Greitens’ presence in the race and early indications that he was doing well worried national Republican s, who feared he could win the primary but lose a seat in the general election as the party fought to regain control of the Senate. Greitens resigned in June 2018, a year-and-a-half into his first term, in the midst of investigations related to a sex scandal and campaign finance questions.

Greitens, Schmitt and others sought endorsement from former President Donald Trump, who did well in the state in 2016 and 2020. Trump eventually endorsed “Eric” without specifying which one.

Valentine, 65, is a nurse who ran on a pledge to return compassion to politics. She entered the Democratic primary late with a mostly self-funded campaign and edged Marine veteran Lucas Kunce in the August primary.

She spent millions of dollars of her own money in the general election campaign in an unsuccessful bid to turn around recent history in Missouri, where Republicans have become the dominant party.

The Senate race is one of two statewide offices up for grabs in Missouri. In the other, Republican Scott Fitzpatrick faces Democrat Alan Green in the race for auditor. Incumbent Auditor Nicole Galloway is not seeking reelection.

Fitzpatrick is currently state treasurer — at 35, Missouri’s youngest statewide elected official. His campaign platform includes a pledge to audit schools and curriculum to “ensure schools are following the law and keeping politically divisive curriculum like Critical Race Theory, and discussions relating to gender or sexual preferences out of the classroom,” according to his campaign website.

That pledge may be in conflict with the Missouri Constitution, which states no duty shall be imposed on the auditor “which is not related to the supervising and auditing of the receipt and expenditure of public funds.”

Green, of St. Louis County, is a former state representative, police officer and founder of a nonprofit. He wants to expand protections for whistleblowers who provide information about government fraud or waste.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Iranian and US supporters cheer before the World Cup group B soccer match between Iran and the Unit...
Associated Press

US, Iran fans mingle in Qatar ahead World Cup clash

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Smiling U.S. and Iranian fans mingled and posed for photos outside a stadium in Doha ahead of a politically charged World Cup match on Tuesday. The atmosphere was generally festive though the political divisions among Iran fans were apparent outside Al Thumama Stadium, as they have been during previous Iran games […]
12 hours ago
This image released by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas shows Clarence Gilyard, Jr., Associate P...
Associated Press

Clarence Gilyard, ‘Die Hard’ and ‘Matlock’ actor, dies at 66

NEW YORK (AP) — Clarence Gilyard Jr., a popular supporting actor whose credits include the blockbuster films “Die Hard” and “Top Gun” and the hit television series “Matlock” and “Walker, Texas Ranger,” has died at age 66. His death was announced this week by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he taught stage and […]
12 hours ago
An Iranian flag and a scarf depicting U.S. flag are sold at the Souq Waqif Market in Doha, Qatar, T...
Associated Press

US-Iran match reflects a regional rivalry for many Arab fans

BAGHDAD (AP) — The U.S. team’s must-win World Cup match against Iran will be closely watched across the Middle East, where the two nations have been engaged in a cold war for over four decades and where many blame one or both for the region’s woes. Critics of Iran say it has fomented war and […]
12 hours ago
Associated Press

Ex-majority leader jailed for DUI is leaving Kansas Senate

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas lawmaker who was forced out of one of the state Senate’s most powerful jobs following an arrest for drunken driving and speeding the wrong way on two interstate highways is planning to leave the Legislature in early January. Former Senate Majority Leader Sen. Gene Suellentrop, a Wichita Republican, confirmed […]
12 hours ago
Community members, including Walmart employees, gather for a candlelight vigil at Chesapeake City P...
Associated Press

Survivor of Virginia Walmart mass shooting files $50M suit

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — A Walmart employee who survived last week’s mass shooting at a store in Virginia has filed a $50 million lawsuit against the company for allegedly continuing to employ the shooter — a store supervisor — “who had known propensities for violence, threats and strange behavior.” The lawsuit, which appears to be […]
12 hours ago
Associated Press

Defense: Man had no reason to help family in killings of 8

WAVERLY, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man accused of helping his family kill eight members of another family had no reason to take part and wasn’t even there, his attorney told trial jurors Tuesday during closing arguments. George Wagner IV, his brother and parents were charged in the 2016 shooting deaths of seven adults and […]
12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
Schmitt defeats Busch beer heir in Missouri U.S. Senate race