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Busch beer heiress enters Missouri US Senate race as Democrat

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Posted at 12:59 PM, Mar 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-29 13:59:55-04

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Anheuser-Busch beer heiress Trudy Busch Valentine on Tuesday announced her candidacy for U.S. Senate, shaking up what has been a low-profile Democratic primary in a solidly red state.

Busch Valentine’s entrance into the race comes amid widespread calls from fellow Republicans for former Gov. Eric Greitens to drop out of the race after his ex-wife accused him of physically abusing her and one of their kids.

The latest scandal renewed Republican concerns that Greitens could win the crowded GOP primary but emerge a damaged candidate in the general election, threatening the party’s chances of keeping what should be a relatively easy win for Republicans.

Some Democrats already are positioning the race as everyone else versus Greitens. In a Monday announcement dropping out of the Democratic primary, former state Sen. Scott Sifton endorsed Busch Valentine and called on other Democrats to unite behind her.

“Eric Greitens simply cannot be our next senator, and I know that Trudy Busch Valentine gives us the best chance to win in November,” Sifton said.

Other Democratic contenders include Marine veteran Lance Kunce, St. Louis County startup owner Spencer Toder, Kansas City activist Tim Shepard and Air Force veteran Jewel Kelly.

Busch Valentine, daughter of the late chairman of the Anheuser-Busch Companies, described herself as a candidate open to talking to people with different viewpoints, although she didn’t go into much detail on her political agenda.

“Most Missouri families include Democrats, Independents and Republicans. Mine sure does,” Busch Valentine said. “But it seems we’ve lost our ability to be understanding and compassionate for each other. We have so much more that unites us than divides us. We just need to talk to each other again.”

One of her siblings, August Busch III, donated to Greitens’ 2016 gubernatorial campaign, although he also gave to other Republican gubernatorial candidates.

Busch Valentine has raised money for Democrats and hosted a fundraiser for former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2015.