Trudy Busch Valentine (D), Eric Schmitt (R), John Wood (I), and five other candidates are running in the general election for Missouri’s Class III U.S. Senate seat on November 8, 2022. Sen. Roy Blunt (R), who first took office in 2011, announced he would not seek re-election on March 8, 2021.
Busch Valentine is the heiress of the Anheuser-Busch beer company and worked as a nurse. She cited two primary reasons for her campaign: to fight the opioid epidemic and improve access to quality healthcare, and to advocate for women’s rights. She also criticized the state of politics in Missouri and called it divisive. “Our communities are strong, but our politics are broken. Too often neighbors and families just stop talking to each other, and the politicians in Washington continue to divide us even further,” she said. Based on July quarterly reports filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Busch Valentine raised $3.4 million and spent $2.7 million.
Schmitt was appointed Attorney General of Missouri in January 2019. He served as state treasurer from 2017 to 2019 and in the Missouri State Senate from 2008 to 2016. Schmitt has highlighted his experience as attorney general and the lawsuits he filed against the federal government. He said, “[I have] taken a blow torch to Biden’s unconstitutional and unlawful policies to protect the America First Agenda.” He also said that he was a “proven Conservative [who will] take the fight to the Senate and save our values, our culture, and our country.” Based on July quarterly reports filed with the FEC, Schmitt raised $3.6 million and spent $2.6 million.
Wood worked as a senior investigator for the January 6th Select Committee but resigned to campaign. Former U.S. Sen. John Danforth (R) endorsed Wood, while the newly formed Missouri Stands United PAC announced it would spend $20 million to support Wood’s campaign. Wood said he filed to run “as an independent to offer Missourians who are fed up and exhausted by the status quo something better. A common sense campaign that unites our state instead of dividing us.” and that he would serve as an independent who caucuses with the Republican Party. Based on July quarterly reports filed with the FEC, Wood raised $162,000 and spent $40,000.
As of August 2022, three independent race forecasters rated the general election as Solid Republican or Safe Republican. Donald Trump (R) won the state in the 2020 presidential election by a 15.4% margin. The last time a Democratic candidate won a statewide election in Missouri was in 2012 when U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and Gov. Jay Nixon (D) both won re-election. Missouri’s other U.S. Senator, Josh Hawley (R), won the 2018 election by a 5.8% margin.
The outcome of this race will affect the partisan balance of the U.S. Senate. Thirty-five of 100 seats are up for election, including one special election. Democrats have an effective majority, with the chamber split 50-50 and Vice President Kamala Harris (D) having the tie-breaking vote. Fourteen seats held by Democrats and 21 seats held by Republicans are up for election in 2022.
Minor party, independent, and write-in candidates include Paul Venable (Constitution Party), Jonathan Dine (L), and independent candidates Ronald Deets, Steve Price, and Nicholas Strauss.