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Major area GOP donors line up behind Hanaway in 2016 contest for Missouri governor

Catharine Hanaway
Provided by the campaign

Former Missouri House Speaker Catherine Hanaway, a Republican running for governor, appears to be consolidating her support among the region’s top GOP donors as she prepares for a major fundraising event next month.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is to be the major speaker at the event, to be held June 18 at Hunter Farms, the legendary west St. Louis County estate owned by former U.S. Ambassador Stephen Brauer (chairman of Hunter Engineering) and his wife, Kimmy Brauer. The estate has been the locale of many major GOP fundraising events for decades.

The other cohosts include August A. Busch III, former head of Anheuser-Busch; William H. T. “Bucky” Bush, brother and uncle of two former presidents; and David N. Farr, chief executive of Emerson.

Most have donated to Hanaway previously, but some also had given money to her former chief rival, Tom Schweich, who had been state auditor when he killed himself Feb. 26.

In any case, their donations to Hanaway had been overshadowed by the $1 million that she has received since last fall from financier Rex Sinquefield or his allied campaign organizations.

Sinquefield is not listed as a cohost for the June 18 event, which could be by design so as not to distract from the list of other major GOP donors.

Their support for Hanaway could send a signal to other Republicans considering a bid for governor in 2016, notably local businessman John Brunner and former Navy Seal/author Eric Greitens, who also reside in the St. Louis area. The only other officially announced Republican in the gubernatorial contest is state Sen. Mike Parsons of southwest Missouri.

However, some of Hanaway’s cohosts have been known for contributing to several candidates competing for the same office.

Busch, for example, gave to Republican Rick Stream last year in his unsuccessful quest for St. Louis County executive. But Busch also donated to the two Democrats in that contest: now-former County Executive Charlie Dooley and his successor, current County Executive Steve Stenger.

A Hanaway spokesman said tickets for the fundraising event are expected to range from $1,000 to $25,000.

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