FARMINGTON, MISSOURI – JULY 31: Missouri Attorney General and Republican Senate candidate Eric Schmitt speaks to supporters at the 2022 Hall Pavilion in Englar Park. July 31 Farmington, Missouri. Schmitt is holding campaign events the final weekend before the Aug. 2 election. primary election in Missouri. He is leading the primary race involving former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens to replace outgoing Sen. Roy Blunt. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
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Eric Greitens, the scandal-plagued former governor of Missouri, announced a comeback bid against his wishes. many republicanswill lose state GOP Senate primary, NBC News projects.
Eric Schmitt, currently the state’s attorney general, is expected to run in the general election, where he will compete against the Democratic candidate for the seat being vacated by outgoing Republican Sen. Roy Blunt.
The initial results mark the defeat of Greitens, who fully embraced the former president Donald Trump and struggled with recently allegations of domestic violence as he sought to return to the political forefront.
Greitens announced his Senate bid nearly three years after he resigned as governor amid allegations that he blackmailed a hairdresser with whom he had an affair. Greitens admitted to the meeting, but denied he threatened to release nude photos of her if she revealed the affair.
He was charged with criminal invasion of privacy in connection with the alleged blackmail. Greitens was also charged with unlawful use of a list of charitable donors to help finance his 2016 gubernatorial campaign. Both charges were fell down Around the time Greitens resigned in 2018, in June.
Eric Greitens, Governor of Missouri, is pictured at the Robin Hood Veterans Summit in New York.
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Those are other scandals encouraged mainstream Republicans worry about Greitens’ candidacy puts the party’s job in the Senate at risk in a state that otherwise reliably votes Republicans into high office. Democrats are desperate to hold on to their slim majority in the Senate, but their control of the chamber is threatened by a difficult political environment, made even more difficult by the president. Joe Bidenunpopularity and recent economic turmoil.
During his Senate campaign, Greitens squared off with Trump and repeated Trump’s false claims about widespread fraud tainting the 2020 race. presidential elections. Kimberly Guilfoyle, Donald Trump Jr.’s girlfriend, has joined Greitens’ campaign as national chairwoman.
But the former president ultimately didn’t give Greitens his full endorsement. Rather, he oddly endorsed “Eric” in the Missouri GOP Senate primary, where two of the top candidates are Eric.
“I believe the great people of Missouri will make up their own minds on this,” Trump tweeted on the eve of the primary.
Greitens and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt called Trump’s statement a personal endorsement.
Survey averages from RealClearPolitics showed Greitens had a narrower lead over the Democratic primary than either of his two biggest rivals in the Republican primary.
After Sheena Greitens in March filed court documents alleging Eric Greitens abused her and their young son while they were married, many top Republicans called on Greitens to quit.
“If you hit a woman or a child, you belong in handcuffs, not in the United States Senate,” said Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., who investigated Greitens when he was Missouri attorney general.
The most blunt said Greitens “shouldn’t be running for Senate” if Sheena Greitens’ claims are true.
Correction: This article has been updated to correct Eric Schmitt’s photo.