With at least five contenders in pursuit of the Republican nomination for Missouri governor in 2016, some are concerned the primary will require heavy spending from candidates and lead to divisions in the party.
Four of the five candidates — St. Louis businessman John Brunner, former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens, current Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder and former House Speaker Catherine Hanaway — are considered top-tier contenders.
The balanced, competitive field could prove problematic if the primary “devolves into a bitter family feud,” Missouri GOP Chairman John Hancock acknowledged.
On the other side, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, the likely Democratic nominee, faces a far less competitive path through primary season.
Gregg Keller, a Republican consultant, said he believes the GOP will be able to reconcile after the primary.
The top four candidates are alike on a few different issues. All are pro-life, and all are vocal supporters of gun rights. Brunner and Greitens are both expected to play up their status as political outsiders. Kinder will lean on his previous experience and strong connections in the state political scene. Hanaway also will emphasize her political experience, and her work as an attorney.