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Politically Speaking interviews highlight key differences among GOP senate hopefuls

A collage of the top 6 Republican contenders for Missouri's open U.S. Senate seat.
Brian Munoz, Jason Rosenbaum and Eric Schmid
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St. Louis Public Radio
From upper left: Vicki Hartzler, Eric Greitens, Eric Schmitt, Billy Long, Dave Schatz and Mark McCloskey are the Republicans running to fill Roy Blunt's open U.S. Senate seat in Missouri.

On Aug. 2, Missouri voters will face major decisions when they arrive at the polls. While they'll choose from among statewide candidates seeking a chance at a U.S. Senate seat, voters in St. Louis County will also be selecting nominees for county executive.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio’s political correspondent and host of Politically Speaking, joined St. Louis on the Air to discuss the upcoming elections.

Many key issues in the Republican primary election might feel familiar to voters, such as abortion rights and gun control — but Rosenbaum said the election for U.S. Senate will also hinge on the candidates’ stands regarding the U.S. providing aid to help Ukraine fight off Russia’s invasion. “For instance,” Rosenbaum said, “Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz is in favor of that move, while attorney Mark McCloskey is a strong opponent.”

Rosenbaum said that the ongoing issues surrounding candidate Eric Greitens, including abuse allegations and his ‘RINO Hunting’ ad, have a lot of voters unconvinced of his campaign. “For most people, the amount of controversy that Eric Greitens has encountered since 2015 would have ended six political careers by now.”

Rosenbaum added that if Greitens does win the primary, Democrats might have a better chance at winning the Senate seat during the general election on Nov. 8.

Frontrunners for the Democratic primary are Lucas Kunce, Spencer Toder and Trudy Bush Valentine. While Valentine has vast personal wealth to spend on the campaign, Rosenbaum said it hasn’t been put to good use. She also declined some requests for media interviews and debates, potentially frustrating Democratic voters.

What you need to know for the Aug. 2 election

St. Louis County Executive Sam Page is using his performance during the coronavirus pandemic to bolster his reelection campaign. “That has also engendered a lot of controversy,” Rosenbaum said. “People have said that a mask mandate without any enforcement really isn't a mask mandate, it's more of a mask recommendation.”

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is produced by Miya Norfleet, Emily Woodbury, Danny Wicentowski and Alex Heuer. Avery Rogers is our production assistant. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.

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Avery is the Production Assistant for "St. Louis On The Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.

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