Monday, May 11, 2009

New candidate in Missouri Senate race?

Erin McPike reports that the looming Roy Blunt v Sarah Steelman primary showdown for Missouri's open Senate seat in 2010 might be getting more interesting.

Republican Thomas Schweich, former U.S. Special Ambassador to Afghanistan in the Bush administration, told CongressDaily this morning he is considering jumping into the Missouri Senate race.... Schweich has the backing of former Ambassador George H. Walker, a St. Louis resident and cousin of President George H.W. Bush, and former Sen. John Danforth.

This is the same Thomas Schweich who wrote this devastating indictment of Blunt in early March (the newspaper link has been archived out, so you'll just have to trust the GOP12 link from march).

While there is no denying Blunt's commitment to serving his country, he represents the Republican Party of the past, not the party of the future. We need to change direction before it is too late.... We should not discourage competition in the race for the Republican nomination for Senate. We should shed some light on the back-room politics of the sedentary, uncreative Republican leadership in this state, which appears to be in denial about the unfortunate route that we are traveling right now. They either should stop crushing the competition and start looking for a new direction or stand aside and let others take on the task.

Back to McPike's piece, and the race looking forward.

Blunt's backers played down Schweich's chances, saying Steelman presented a more credible challenge.

Interesting, in light of this Blunt interview with The Political Fix from mid-February:

“Sarah can’t win the primary. If there’s a primary, I’ll win it.”

Onto some more info on the possibility, and the St. Louis Beacon, which says Blunt-unease is what's prompting this.

Sources say that Schweich.... has been asked by some of the region's most prominent Republicans to consider the idea because some in the GOP question whether Blunt will be a strong candidate against the only announced Democrat, Secretary of State Robin Carnahan.

Moving to KY3's Political Notebook, which has an anonymous Republican citing fundraising things:

"This has a potential to cut majorly into Roy's fundraising base.... these are some big names lining up behind Schweich. Big money Republicans that give $2 or $4-thousand dollars every cycle."

For more, including Schweich's statement, click here.