Missouri Senate candidate Eric Schmitt says he's raised $1M so far
Schmitt's team confirmed to Fox News that they raised the money over the last seven weeks
Missouri Senate hopeful Eric Schmitt, who is currently the state's Republican attorney general, said this week that he has already raised more than $1 million ahead of the 2022 race.
"We're off to a really good start. I mean, we raised a million dollars in a pretty short period of time. The support's been great. And we're going to continue to work hard because we can't lose Missouri," Schmitt said in a podcast interview on Thursday.
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"I've won statewide twice by 18 points and then 22 points. But those Senate races are always much closer than that. And a flawed candidate can lose Missouri. We've seen that happen. Republicans lose. I mean, even [Sen.] Josh Hawley, you know, who's doing a fantastic job, won by six points, and [Sen.] Roy Blunt won by three points," he continued.
Schmitt's team confirmed to Fox News that they raised the money over the last seven weeks.
"The support's been tremendous and we're working hard," Schmitt told "Ruthless" podcast. "Somebody told me long time ago, you run unopposed or scared, right? And so you just work as hard as you possibly can. And I think, again, having been around the state, people know me. The support has been really overwhelming. And that's what it's going to take to hold on to the seat, because the Democrats will look for any opening whatsoever to try to make people have to play in a state like Missouri. "
Other Republicans in the race include Eric Greitens and Mark McCloskey. Greitens was Missouri's governor from 2017 to 2018. Greitens resigned as governor in 2018 amid allegations of sexual misconduct – which he denied – and charges that he used a veterans charity he set up to fundraise for his gubernatorial campaign. The charges of violating campaign finance laws were dropped in a deal he struck with prosecutors.
Blunt announced in March that he would not seek reelection in 2022.
Blunt said in a video that "after 14 general election victories – three to county office, seven to the United States House of Representatives, and four statewide elections – I won’t be a candidate for reelection to the United States Senate next year."
Blunt was first elected to the Senate in 2010 after serving as GOP whip during his 14 years in the House.
Missouri was once a competitive state for both parties, but has trended Republican in recent decades.
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Former Sen. Claire McCaskill’s 2012 victory was the last time a Democrat won a Senate election in the state.
McCaskill, who lost her 2018 reelection bid to Josh Hawley, made it clear that she would not run for Blunt's seat.
"To all that are asking: thank you to the many who have said kind things. But I will never run for office again. Nope. Not gonna happen. Never. I am so happy I feel guilty sometimes," she wrote on Twitter on March 8.
Fox News' Kelly Laco and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.