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Trump endorses ‘ERIC’ in Missouri primary, a first name shared by two rivals

Former President Donald Trump endorsed Eric Greitens and Eric Schmitt in Missouri's Senate primary on Tuesday. Both candidates celebrated Trump’s endorsement, with no mention of their rival. The race has been filled with scandal-plagued scandals, including allegations of abuse and domestic violence. The campaign for a seat Republicans have held since 1987 has tested whether concerns about electability are enough to stop a candidate dragging down the party, tapping into conservative grievances and distrust in the media and party establishment. Trump: “I trust the Great People of Missouri, on this one, to make up their own minds, much as they did when they gave me landslide victories in the 2016 and 2020 Elections, and I am therefore proud to announce that ERIC has my Complete and Total Endorsement!”

Eric Schmitt says he's still seeking Trump's endorsement, but the former president has remained quiet for most of the race. Schmitt is the establishment candidate, voters say. Greitens has portrayed himself as a foe of RINOs, a disparaging acronym for “Republicans in Name Only” The former governor entered the primary in March 2021, claiming to Fox News that he’d been “completely exonerated” An investigation found no wrongdoing on a campaign finance charge, and a felony charge against him alleging invasion of privacy against a woman, his former hairdresser, who he admitted to having an affair with, was dropped by prosecutors. “This man is a quitter,” said Schmitt.

Other candidates in the field have pursued Trump’s backing and run in his mold. “It seems like Greitens might be dead now,” said Democratic candidate Lucas Kunce, a veteran and anti-monopoly campaigner running for the GOP nomination, at a Wednesday night town hall in Columbia. Former U.S. attorney John Wood launched an independent Senate bid in June, convincing some Republicans that the ex-governor might lose a November election that anyone else in his party should win. Trump posted an anti-endorsement of the candidate on July 8, shortly after the Missouri Farm Bureau endorsed Hartzler, saying “I don’t think she has what it takes to take on the Radical Left Democrats”