ST. LOUIS – Voters will soon decide whether Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt takes over a new political office. He is the Republican candidate running to fill one of Missouri’s seats in the U.S. Senate for the soon-to-retire Sen. Roy Blunt.
Schmitt is running for a seat the GOP has occupied for decades. Blunt’s U.S. Senate seat has been held by a Republican since the retirement of Democrat Sen. Thomas Eagleton in 1987. Schmitt will face Democrat candidate and Busch family heiress Trudy Busch Valentine in the Nov. 8 general election.
In August, Schmitt won the Republican primary with 45% of the vote in a crowded field, which included former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens and Missouri State Rep. Vicky Hartzler, who was previously endorsed by Missouri’s other senator, Josh Hawley.
Schmitt has served in many political roles leading up to his U.S. Senate run. That includes Missouri treasurer from 2017-2019, Missouri State Senate from 2009-2017, and an alderman for Glendale, Missouri, from 2005-2008.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson appointed Eric Schmitt to attorney general in 2018 before he was elected to another four-year term in 2020. In recent years, Schmitt has filed lawsuits as attorney general in an effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, end COVID-19 mask mandates in schools, and challenge the Biden administration over environmental and weapons policies.
Months before his primary victory, Schmitt described himself as “a tireless fighter for the people” in a sit-down interview with FOX 2. He claims the American dream itself is on the line with this election, that there are significant pressing matters facing the nation, and the U.S. Senate will be the place where the biggest fights are going to occur.
Schmitt said he supports energy independence and fair elections and that he would push back against government overreach, citing his legal fights against mask mandates in schools. Criminal justice has been a top priority in his attorney general role. Schmitt supported legislation in 2020 for St. Louis City to lift residency requirements for officers amid a staffing shortage. In 2019, he launched the SAFE Kit initiative designed to reduce a backlog of sexual assault kits in Missouri.
Schmitt has also tackled highly-contentious social issues in his tenure as attorney general. In 2019, he signed an amicus brief with 19 other attorneys general arguing that LGBT people were not protected by workplace discrimination bans. In June, minutes after the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Schmitt signed a proclamation that marked an end to elective abortions in Missouri. He later filed a lawsuit against the City of St. Louis earlier this year for allocating federal relief funds to support abortion access.
A native of Bridgeton, Missouri, and graduate of DeSmet Jesuit High School in St. Louis County, Schmitt graduated from Truman State University with a Bachelor of Arts in political science in 1997. Three years later, he earned a Juris Doctor’s law degree from St. Louis University.
According to a Sept. 2022 report from Yahoo Finance, Schmitt’s attorney general salary, projected at $184,358.52 in 2021, is more than the $174,000 he would make if elected to the U.S. Senate.