Eric Schmitt won the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Missouri on August 2. According to the Missouri secretary of state’s office, Schmitt received 46% of the vote. Vicky Hartzler was second with 22% and Eric Greitens was third with 19%.
Twenty-one candidates ran in the primary. Greitens, Hartzler, and Schmitt led in media attention, endorsements, polling, and fundraising. Incumbent Roy Blunt (R), who was first elected in 2010, announced on March 8, 2021, that he would not seek election to a third term in 2022.
Schmitt has served as attorney general of Missouri since 2019. Schmitt previously served as treasurer of Missouri and was a member of the Missouri State Senate representing District 15. Schmitt said he “defended President Trump at every turn and fought for justice for Missourians against the radical left, Big Tech, and even the Communist Party of China,” and that “with Joe Biden in the White House and a liberal takeover in the House and Senate, we need a proven Conservative to take the fight to the Senate and save our values, our culture, and our country.”
Greitens was the governor of Missouri from 2017 until June 1, 2018, when he resigned following investigations into allegations of sexual misconduct and misuse of campaign information. Greitens also served as a U.S. Navy SEAL officer and founded The Mission Continues, a nonprofit group that connects veterans with volunteer work to help them in their post-military transitions. “We need fighters who are willing to do what it takes to take our country back, to take our country back from the left. And also we need fighters who are willing to take on the establishment — take on the mainstream media,” Greitens said.
Hartzler has represented Missouri’s 4th Congressional District since 2011. Hartzler also worked as a high school teacher and served as spokeswoman for the Coalition to Protect Marriage, an organization that supported an amendment to the Missouri Constitution barring gay marriage, in 2004. Gov. Matt Blunt (R) appointed Hartzler to the Missouri Women’s Council, an agency within the Missouri Department of Economic Development, where she served from 2005 to 2007. According to her campaign website, Hartzler ran for U.S. Senate “to protect our freedoms and preserve America’s greatness with a vision that puts our country first,” adding, “I listen. I care. I fight. I get things done.”
As of August 1, The Cook Political Report and Inside Elections both rated the general election as Solid Republican, while Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball rated it Likely Republican. In the 2016 general election, Blunt defeated Jason Kander (D) 49%-46%. In the 2020 general election, former President Donald Trump won the state by 15 percentage points.