Missouri Treasurer Eric Schmitt says he's backing fellow Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley to run for Democratic U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill's seat. Schmitt had expressed interest in a 2018 U.S. Senate run, but announced yesterday he won't seek the Republican nomination.
Schmitt says Republicans should unite behind Hawley, who this month opened a committee to explore a bid. There are others seeking the Republican nomination, but Schmitt would have been the only other candidate to have won a statewide election.
Former Libertarian presidential candidate Austin Petersen and Tony Monetti, who manages the University of Central Missouri's airport, are running as Republicans. State Representative Paul Curtman is among others who have expressed interest.