Nieves Drops Out of Re-Elect Primary
March 14, 2014

Post Dispatch:

JEFFERSON CITY • Sen. Brian Nieves, R-Washington, is no longer seeking re-election.

Nieves withdrew his papers this afternoon, following a 1,600-word Facebook post this weekend hinting that he might do just that.

Nieves could not be reached for comment.

In his Facebook post, he endorsed House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, to run for the primary. Jones is term limited out of his position.

It was reported that Nieves — known for controversial bills such as one that would nullify federal gun laws — would drop out of his re-election race for the 26th district seat, making room for Jones.

Jones — who has been raising support for a run in the Republican primary for state attorney general — would not say if he would file for the primary. Filing ends March 25.

Rep. Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan, filed in the primary against Nieves for the 26th district seat.

In a news release sent this week, Schatz pledged a full, four-year term in the seat.

“The people of Franklin and St. Louis counties deserve a State Senator who will focus on them, not the next office they plan to run for,” Schatz said.

Politico: Missouri & Wisconsin Senate Primaries Have Similar Dynamics
July 18, 2012

The conservative players known for leaving a mark in Republican primaries are largely divided over their preferences in a pair of late summer Senate slugfests.
That dissonance is further complicating candidates’ efforts in Missouri and Wisconsin to distinguish themselves as the genuine conservative article as they move to inch ahead of the pack in the final weeks of their campaigns.
Consider the jumble in the Missouri contest to decide Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill’s fall opponent. On Tuesday Sarah Palin announced her endorsement of Sarah Steelman — joining the Tea Party Express in support of the former state treasurer. But former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee recently traveled to one of the Show Me State’s most conservative counties to personally bestow his blessing on Rep. Todd Akin. And FreedomWorks embraced self-funding businessman John Brunner’s burgeoning candidacy in May.
In Wisconsin, it’s a similar scenario.
Sen. Jim DeMint and the Club for Growth were early backers of former Rep. Mark Neumann, who had high hopes of branding himself the most principled conservative in the four-way Republican field. Yet last week, FreedomWorks’ political action committee jumbled the narrative by throwing its weight behind wealthy hedge fund manager Eric Hovde.
The divide has both races in flux.
While Brunner and Thompson maintain tenuous front-runner status, the prevailing wisdom among Republican operatives is that their support is soft and that many voters are still able to be persuaded.
Brunner and Hovde, both previously political unknowns who have tapped millions of their personal fortune to lift their name identification, have benefited from being outsiders without a trail of potentially radioactive policy positions and votes.

Read more:

Politico’s Quick Overview of Missouri GOP Senate Primary
June 21, 2012

Former Missouri political reporter Dave Cantanese has kept his eye on the
Issouri Senate race.
His quick overview probably doesn’t surprise those watching the race closely.
But his ‘Politico’ write up will be one of the perspectives national readers will have on the August 7 primary.
"The three-way GOP Show-Me State primary is quickly morphing into a two-way slugfest between manufacturing CEO John Brunner and former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman.

A late May poll confirmed that Brunner – making his first campaign run – is on the move, thanks to $3 million in advertisements to boost his profile as a job-creator.

He’s now shifting into a second phase, tarring Steelman and six-term Rep. Todd Akin as career politicians responsible for the kind of spending that Brunner says has pushed the state and nation to the brink.

Steelman, who once dismissed the importance of endorsements by public officials, is marching out state lawmakers to defend her, while decrying Brunner’s negativity.

Akin remains a player, but insiders don’t see him as the winner unless the shooting war between Brunner and Steelman becomes so nasty that the congressman benefits by default.

The prevailing wisdom is that either Brunner or Steelman would match up well against first-term Democrat Claire McCaskill. But Brunner’s deep pockets would be an added bonus for the party, allowing the National Republican Senatorial Committee to spend precious resources elsewhere."

Brunner & Steelman Argue Over Gas Tax Hike Vote in Missouri
June 14, 2012

KC Star:
Campaign officials for GOP Senate candidates John Brunner and Sarah Steelman exchanged verbal fisticuffs Wednesday, each accusing the other of misleading the public on a vote Steelman cast while a member of the state legislature.
In a recent debate Steelman said she had not voted for any tax increases in the legislature. Her campaign does not dispute a 2002 vote in favor of making a 6-cent state gasoline tax permanent. At the time, the 10-year old levy was set to expire in 2008.
Brunner supporter John Hancock said that means Steelman voted to raise taxes.
“Are you paying higher taxes today because of that vote than you would have paid if that vote had never happened?” Hancock said. “The answer is yes.”
Steelman spokesman Patrick Tuohey sharply disagreed with the characterization of the vote as a tax hike.
“That is on the face of it incorrect,” he said. “Sarah did not vote to raise taxes. It’s that clear.”
Tuohey said Steelman opposed a 2002 statewide referendum on an additional gas and sales tax increase that voters ultimately rejected.
Brunner, he said, failed to cast a ballot in that election.

Read more here:

Schweich Making a Move to Running in GOP Senate Primary, Booster Says Current GOP Field Not Cutting It
March 7, 2012

A Springfield attorney has filed paperwork with the Internal Revenue Service indicating Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweich is considering joining the Republican primary for the US Senate. It apparently is being done with the first term Auditor’s consent.
But insiders say Schweich has made no decision to enter the Republican primary. There are already three candidates in the race, Todd Akin, John Brunner and Sarah Steelman.
A Schwiech supporter says some Missouri Republicans don’t like the current field of Rep. Todd Akin, John Brunner and former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman.
“They have voiced a variety of concerns about the current field of candidates and believe Tom credentials are what we need”, said former 7th Congressional District Chairman Neal Ethridge, a Schweich supporter.
Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill is considered one of the most vulnerable Democrats up for re-election this year. many rate the campaign as a toss-up. Some say the race, even with an unsettled field, tilts to the Republicans.
A Springfield attorney, Joseph Passanise filed paperwork with the IRS Tuesday to form a 527 political group in support of what the paperwork says was a ‘Schweich for US Senate’ operation.. ‘527’ is the name of the IRS code that deals with political organizations.
A 527 organization allows a potential candidate to raise and spend some money on a potential campaign. Another way of looking at it is a 527 can be an ‘exploratory committee’.
Often, 527 groups are formed by advocacy organizations and were considered in the past as ‘soft money’, not always under the control of the candidate. That does not appear to be the case with the Schweich effort.
Supposedly Schweich has watched some of the joint appearances of the three announced candidates and has not been impressed. He was sitting in the audience for the first joint appearance at the Lincoln Days event in Kansas City in late February.
In the current field, Congressman Todd Akin as not raised the kind of money some expected. Neither has former Missouri treasurer Sarah Steelman. John Brunner appears to have fundraising abilities and his own wealth. But he is making his first bid for office and is unknown to many voters.
Schweich’s supporters say they’ve brought this up to the Auditor and he is now making a move towards joining the GOP Primary.
Timing is also a factor. The GOP primary is in August, a very short time to start a statewide campaign from scratch.