Set up| When the Missouri AG runs for Senate, Greitens will face off against her in the primary.

Set up| When the Missouri AG runs for Senate, Greitens will face off against her in the primary.

Republican Eric Schmitt announced on Tuesday that he will compete to succeed retiring Senator Roy Blunt in 2019.

Eric Schmitt, the state’s attorney general, declared his candidacy for the Senate on Wednesday, pitting him against former governor Eric Greitens as Republicans battle to keep control of the seat in 2015.

Schmitt is the second Republican to declare his candidacy to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Roy Blunt, who said earlier this month that he would not run for re-election.

Some Republicans worry that if Greitens wins the nomination, the ordinarily safe seat might become competitive in the fall, making it more difficult for them to regain the majority in the Senate. Greitens resigned as governor in 2018 following accusations that he had sexually assaulted and blackmailed a woman, which he denied, and after reaching an agreement with the St. Louis prosecutor’s office to have unrelated charges against him regarding allegedly breaking campaign finance laws by using a veterans charity he had established to raise money for his gubernatorial campaign dropped.

Last week, Greitens announced his campaign on Fox News, pledging to defend the state and support the late President Donald Trump.

After being chosen as attorney general when Josh Hawley was elected to the Senate in 2016, Schmitt was elected state treasurer in 2016 and triumphed by more than 20 points in the subsequent election.

Schmitt said in a statement that Missourians “now more than ever need a conservative leader ready and able to take on the left, safeguard our principles, and be a voice for all Missourians.” We also require a leader who can keep the Senate seat solidly in Republican hands while preventing any opportunity for the Democrats to retake it.

Despite Missouri’s conservative lean, he noted that Republicans won the state’s last two Senate elections in close races. In 2016, Blunt won with a mere 3 percentage points, and Hawley defeated McCaskill by 2018: 6 percentage points He also presented himself as a Republican who supports Trump.

Because of my public service, Schmitt added, “Missourians know they can rely on me to stand up to the Biden administration, work to protect President Trump’s America First program, and keep this seat in safe pro-Trump Republican hands.

Reps. Vicky Hartzler, Jason Smith, Ann Wagner, Billy Long, and state treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick are among the Republicans who are considering running for the position. Greitens may benefit from a crowded and divided field because it would be easier for him to gain the backing he needs to win the primary.

Jay Ashcroft, the secretary of state, and Mike Kehoe, the lieutenant governor, both declared they would not run.

Several Democrats are running, including activist Tim Shepard, former state senator Scott Sifton, and Marine veteran Lucas Kunce.

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