CHESTERFIELD, Mo. (KMIZ)
Former governor Eric Greitens did not admit defeat but instead praised his supporters after Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt beat him in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate.
"God has a plan, it doesn't always work on our timeline but it does work on his," Greitens said, addressing the crowd of his supporters for the first and last time Tuesday night.
When the votes were tallied, Greitens finished in third.
The U.S. Senate Republican hopeful cast his vote just past 10:30 a.m. Tuesday outside of St. Louis after an eventful start to the week. Greitens toured Missouri by air Monday, making stops in Springfield, St. Joseph, Hannibal, Kirksville, Rolla and St. Louis.
Greitens called his supporters in Springfield "grassroots patriots."
"And those grassroots patriots are fired up because they know that the country is in crisis, and they know that we need to have real MAGA fighters," Greitens said, using the acronym for former president Donald Trump's Make America Great Again slogan. "And they recognize that the folks I'm running against are RINOs who have taken $10 million from Mitch McConnell to run false ads and push fake polls, as President Trump pointed out ..."
Monday evening, Trump announced his endorsement for the race for Roy Blunt's seat as "ERIC," but did not include the last name. The vague announcement led to speculation about whether he was endorsing Eric Greitens or Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt.
"I trust the Great People of Missouri, on this one, to make up their own minds, much as they did when they gave me landslide victories in the 2016 and 2020 Elections, and I am therefore proud to announce that ERIC has my Complete and Total Endorsement!" Trump's statement read.
Both Greitens and Schmitt were quick to claim the endorsement, but Greitens one-upped Schmitt by tweeting that he "just had a GREAT phone call with President Trump."
In addition to the former president, Greitens is endorsed by many of Trump's supporters, including Donald Trump Jr., Rudy Guiliani and Kimberly Guilfoyle.
Greitens is running on a similar platform as his race for governor in 2016: outsider politics. A large part of Greitens' platform is helping children. He boasts research on how to help children in war-affected areas. Greitens also showcases his time as a Navy Seal.
Controversy followed Greitens' campaign as it did his political career. Greitens served as governor of Missouri but stepped down without completing a full term amid allegations that he sexually blackmailed his mistress and stole a donor list from his veterans' charity. Greitens claimed innocence and the blackmail case was eventually dropped due to lack of evidence.
This year, his ex-wife drew attention back to Greitens' troubles outside politics with an affidavit in their family court case that argued any further civil hearings should be moved to Texas and alleging Greitens abused her and their children.
An anti-Greitens attack campaign based on the affidavit called "The Real Eric Greitens" was started by Show Me PAC Values.
Greitens denies the abuse allegations and stands by claims that his ex-wife is working with his political opponents to sabotage his campaign.