Guilfoyle named as national chair of Greitens’ Senate campaign in Missouri
Kimberly Guilfoyle, the former Fox News host and Trump campaign adviser, will serve as the national chair of Eric Greitens’s Senate campaign, a move that suggests the disgraced former Missouri governor is deepening his ties to former President Trump’s orbit.
“Governor Greitens is a fighter who has stood with President Trump and has a proven record of advancing conservative, America First policies,” Guilfoyle, who is dating Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., said in a statement issued through Greitens’s campaign on Monday.
“I am proud to join this team as the National Chair and look forward to championing Governor Greitens’ vision throughout Missouri and around the country.”
Greitens, who resigned as governor nearly three years ago after a scandal-ridden year and a half in office, is vying for the GOP nomination to replace retiring Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) next year.
While he has proved to be a divisive figure within Republican circles, Greitens has managed to rack up a series of endorsements from within Trump’s orbit, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
By bringing Guilfoyle into his campaign, Greitens is sending an unmistakable message that he is the candidate most closely aligned with Trump, who remains the most influential Republican in the country and commands the support of an ultra-conservative base of voters.
The GOP Senate primary in Missouri is shaping up to be a clear test of Trump’s political strength in his post-presidential life. Some Republicans inside and outside of Missouri are hoping to thwart Greitens’s chances of securing the GOP nomination next year, believing that he could cost Republicans a relatively safe Senate seat in 2022.
As governor, Greitens faced felony charges related to an alleged blackmail scheme in which he was accused of threatening to release nude photos of a women with whom he had an affair, as well as for allegations that he had improperly taken a donor list from a nonprofit he had founded to use in his gubernatorial campaign.
He resigned in June 2018 as GOP leaders in the state legislature met to consider whether to pursue his impeachment.
The charges against him were eventually dropped and Greitens has said that the allegations against him were politically motivated. Still, many Republicans see the former governor as politically toxic and believe that his potential Senate nomination could give Democrats an opportunity to flip Blunt’s seat next year.
Allies of Greitens have cast him as the candidate most closely aligned with Trump and have suggested that the former president is likely to endorse him, though some in Trump’s orbit say that he’s in no hurry to weigh in on the primary.
For now, Greitens’s main rival for the nomination is state Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who met with GOP leaders in Washington recently. But several other Missouri Republicans are also considering jumping into the race, including Reps. Jason Smith, Ann Wagner and Vicky Hartzler.