Cruz endorses Schmitt in Missouri Senate race

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) addresses reporters during a press conference on Wednesday, February 9, 2022 to discuss rising crime issues around the country.
Greg Nash

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Wednesday endorsed Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt in the Show Me State’s crowded GOP Senate primary.

“I’m proud to endorse Eric Schmitt for U.S. Senate in Missouri. Eric is a fighter who will hold China accountable, defend religious freedom, take on Big Tech, and he will protect American jobs,” Cruz said in a statement.

The endorsement comes amid a packed primary of Republicans looking to replace retiring Sen. Roy Blunt (R).

Schmitt, former Gov. Eric Greitens, Reps. Vicky Hartzler and Billy Long and attorney Mark McCloskey are just some of the top Republican contenders.

Schmitt, a former state treasurer who’s serving his first term as attorney general, has looked to set himself apart by filing a spate of lawsuits against the Biden administration.

The endorsement from Cruz comes shortly after Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), another conservative lightning rod, came out in support of Hartzler.

“Senator Ted Cruz is a conservative leader and fighter who has never been afraid to fight back against the Left who want nothing more than to eradicate our freedoms and accumulate more power and control,” said Schmitt. “We need more fighters in the United States Senate like Senator Cruz, and I am honored to have his support in my campaign and in the fight to save America.” 

Republicans are concerned that the red-state seat could become competitive if Greitens is the nominee. The former governor resigned in disgrace in 2018 over allegations he sexually assaulted and blackmailed his hairdresser.

However, Greitens has continued to poll well among primary voters, and Republicans have struggled to coalesce around another alternative. An endorsement from former President Trump could shake up the field, but he has so far stayed out of the race. 

Six Democrats, including Marine veteran Lucas Kunce and former state Sen. Scott Sifton, are running for the seat.

A poll conducted by a third party and obtained by Politico showed Greitens leading Kunce by 4 points in a potential head-to-head, with nearly 20 percent of respondents still undecided.

Tags 2022 midterms Billy Long Donald Trump Endorsement Eric Greitens eric schmitt Josh Hawley Missouri Roy Blunt senate elections Ted Cruz Vicky Hartzler

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