Coburn, Johnson back John Brunner for McCaskill seat

Businessman John Brunner picked up support on Thursday from two prominent GOP figures, with Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) endorsing his bid to unseat Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.).

Brunner, who has not held elected office, is running behind former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman and Rep. Todd Akin (Mo.) in the GOP primary.

“John Brunner is the one candidate in this race who has the much-needed real-world experience in balancing budgets and controlling spending while simultaneously building a successful company and creating over 1,000 new jobs,” said Coburn, who called Brunner uniquely qualified to oppose bloated government policies.

Johnson related Brunner’s fight to his own electoral narrative and said Brunner would be “the second job-creating manufacturer” in the Senate, if elected.

“I know from personal experience that defeating an incumbent Democrat senator is hard work,” Johnson said in a statement. “But I also know that just like the voters of Wisconsin did with me in 2010, Missouri voters are ready to send someone to Washington, D.C., who understands that government doesn't create jobs, government creates debt.”

The Hill rates this race as a toss-up.