A hard-fought race in the Republican primary for Missouri governor came to an end on Tuesday with former NAVY seal Eric Greitens prevailing. His competitors were businessman, John Brunner, and 2 Republican leaders – Missouri House Speaker and U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway and Lt. Governor Peter Kinder.
Greitens was a first-time candidate and won over supporters by depicting himself as an outsider that was willing to fight the corruption within the system. Greitens hopes to make the state a Republican majority again as he stated in his victory speech. He is set to face Attorney General Chris Koster for the spot of governor. Koster won the Democratic nomination with ease back in November 2015.
Suited for the job?
Greitens already has a stunning resume – he’s a Rhodes scholar, a boxer, a taekwondo specialist, a White House fellow and an experienced humanitarian. He also started a non-profit called The Mission Continues after his return from the army. The organization aims to help veterans find volunteer opportunities in their hometowns. He gained fame for his first TV ad that involved him shooting an automatic rifle into an empty field followed by a message implying that an outsider needed to blow up the corruption within the current system. Democratic contender Chris Koster thought the ad was part of a “disturbing political campaign” but it seemed to have resonated with a large number of voters. These voters are likely to be relating to the fact that someone other than a career politician is running.
The strange part of this election is that both candidates used to represent the opposing parties earlier. Greitens was raised as a Democrat and attended the DNC in 2008. He has stated that although he was a Democrat before, his experiences in the army and his non-profit organization convinced him to identify as a republican instead.
Koster on the other hand, was a long-time Republican and was elected into the Missouri Senate as a Republican, back in 2004. He was also eventually voted to become the caucus chairman by the Republicans. He had a public split from the Republican party in 2007 and claims that he did so because he felt that the party was heading “into a black hole”. He was re-elected as Attorney General the next year, as a Democrat. Currently, he identifies as a conservative Democrat.
It is easy to see that both Greitens and Koster have a lot of experience and know what they’re talking about. Since each faces his own share of criticisms, there is no apparent winner in the race for governor.