State Auditor Tom Schweich has yet to decide whether to run for governor in 2016, but he’s making clear that lots of high-profile fellow Republicans want him to do so.
On Thursday, Schweich’s allies released “an open letter’’ signed by more than 120 donors and party activists who want him to run for governor.
The aim of Schweich’s supporters is to portray him as a better choice, backed by more party big shots, than former House Speaker Catherine Hanaway, who already has declared her candidacy – and has promoted her own high-profile support.
Former Missouri House Speaker Catherine Hanaway, the only announced Republican candidate for governor, has the support of one of the state’s political icons who used to be her boss: Former U.S. Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond, R-Mo.
Bond and his wife, Linda Bond, are special guests at a reception/fundraiser Tuesday in Kansas City for Hanaway.
Before she ran for office herself, Hanaway worked for Bond in the mid-1990s. He has been a key mentor for her, and among those backing her presidential appointment in 2005 as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District, based in St. Louis.
In 1991, then-Missouri Attorney General Bill Webster’s ascension to become the next governor seemed inevitable. He had the looks, charisma, campaign cash and the connections.
But then a controversy erupted over whether his office was giving preferential treatment to donors when it came to state contracts. A federal investigation ensued. Webster’s reputation took a huge hit.
Former Missouri House Speaker Catherine Hanaway got $750,000 this week from wealthy financier Rex Sinquefield for her 2016 campaign for governor. That’s more than 10 times what she raised during the past three months.
That huge donation was condemned late Wednesday by her potential rival, state Auditor Tom Schweich, a fellow Republican. His campaign accused Hanaway of being “dependent on one man and his self-proclaimed ‘political army.’ “
The group backing the proposed transportation sales tax is the biggest money-raising operation in the state – but it has yet to air a single TV ad.
Missourians for Safe Transportation and New Jobs, the campaign committee for the sales tax known as Amendment 7, appears to be entering the final weeks of the campaign with more than $2.5 million to spend.
Missouri’s Republican field for governor in 2016 may be about to get more crowded, as some party activists are urging U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-St. Elizabeth, to enter the race.
If he were to jump in, Luetkemeyer would face former House Speaker Catherine Hanaway, a Republican from west St. Louis County who already has declared her candidacy, and possibly state Auditor Tom Schweich, a St. Louis native who is running for re-election this fall with no major opposition.
The latest campaign-finance reports show Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, a Democrat running for governor in 2016, handily outpacing his potential Republican rivals when it comes to raising money – and banking it.
In reports due today, Koster had raised $539,364 so far this calendar year and had amassed just over $2 million in the bank.
That compares to $251,596 that state Auditor Tom Schweich reported raising since Jan. 1, with a bank account totaling $834,747 as of March 31.
Every week, St. Louis Public Radio's Chris McDaniel, Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum talk about the week’s politics. This week their guest is Republican Catherine Hanaway, the former speaker of the Missouri House and former U.S. attorney for Missouri's eastern district. She's now running for governor in 2016.
On the show, Hanaway talks about her political past and her hoped-for future. Among other things she said: