Greitens last among Missouri GOP Senate candidates in fundraising for second quarter

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Eric Greitens was last among major Republican candidates for Senate in second quarter fundraising, underscoring fears that the disgraced former governor will make Democrats competitive for the seat if he secures the nomination.

Greitens’ campaign brought in about $449,000, well behind Attorney General Eric Schmitt, the fundraising frontrunner with $1.3 million. The latest campaign finance filing shows that major Missouri Republican donors continue to view him as toxic after he resigned in 2018 amid multiple scandals, including allegations of violent sexual abuse and blackmail.

But GOP observers also believe the former Navy SEAL still commands a small, but hardcore base of supporters that could boost him to victory in a fractured primary field.

Greitens obscured his fundraising numbers by releasing a statement that combined campaign dollars with funds raised by a super PAC supporting him. The combined figure, he said, is $3.1 million.

“Greitens has received the support of some of the conservative movement’s strongest champions and with over 10,000 campaign donations, they know he is the only America First candidate who will take on the status quo and bring change to Washington D.C.,” the statement said.

Federal election law prohibits coordination between campaigns and super PACs. Greitens’ statement cited “media reports” in touting the combined number.

Rep. Vicky Hartzler raised about $893,000. Mark McCloskey, the St. Louis lawyer known for branding a firearm outside his home during a Black Lives Matter protest, collected $589,000.

Schmitt’s fundraising was aided in part by a Federal Elections Commission rule that allows candidates to wait up to 15 days to file campaign paperwork after beginning to spend or raise significant funds. The gap allowed his campaign to include some donations raised in March in its second quarter report.

Schmitt thanked Missouri “for putting your confidence in my commitment to saving our country from the Democrats’ radical, socialist agenda.”

In terms of cash on hand, Hartzler leads with $1.4 million. Schmitt has $1.1 million, McCloskey has $167,000 and Greitens reported $135,000.

The quarterly reports come more than a year before voters head to the polls. Still, they illustrate candidates’ early efforts to secure support. Greitens has made a point of courting connections to Trump-world figures.

Greitens paid $5,796 to Boris Epshteyn, a former political commentator at Sinclair Broadcasting Group who was an advisor to the Trump 2020 campaign. Greitens has also recently campaigned with former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

Greitens also has the support of TEAM PAC, a super PAC that says it is committed “to electing proven conservatives and veterans to federal offices.” Politico reported this month the billionaire industrial executive Richard Uihlein, a prominent GOP donor, has given $2.5 million to the group — the figure Greitens is largely relying on to say his campaign and supporters have raised $3.1 million.

Other Republicans may still enter the race, includings Rep. Jason Smith, who reported raising $540,000, and Rep. Billy Long, who raised $201,000.

On the Democratic side, Lucas Kunce, a Marine Corps veteran, raised $629,000. Scott Sifton, a former state senator, raised $200,000 and Kansas City activist Tim Shepard raised about $19,000.

Kunce noted in a statement that he had outraised Greitens. “We’re building a people-powered movement, and the people are showing up,” he said.

The Democratic field remains potentially unsettled, however, as speculation continues about whether former Gov. Jay Nixon will enter the race. Nixon is scheduled to address Clay County Democrats next month.

Other notable races

Kansas 3rd

In Kansas’s 3rd Congressional District, Democratic Rep. Sharice Davids raised $594,000 last quarter and has $1.2 million cash on hand. Republican Amanda Adkins, currently the only GOP candidate, raised $603,000 and has about $577,000 cash on hand.

Davids and Adkins ran against each other last year, with Davids winning 53.6% to 43.5%.

Missouri 4th

In the Republican race to replace Hartzler in Missouri’s 4th Congressional District, former state Sen. Ed Emery has about $125,400 in total receipts, which includes a $100,000 loan, and has $123,000 cash on hand. State Rep. Sara Walsh, who launched her campaign after the reporting period ended July 1, is not yet required to file fundraising information.

Kansas 2nd

Republican Rep. Jake LaTurner in Kansas’ 2nd Congressional District reported about $169,000 in total receipts, with about $271,000 cash on hand. The only Democrat in the race, Navy veteran Patrick Schmidt, entered in July and is also not yet required to file a report.