A candidate with a familiar name has announced that she is running for the Democratic nomination to the U.S. Senate from Missouri. St. Louis beer heiress Trudy Busch Valentine joined the heated race on Monday, according to the “St. Louis Post-Dispatch.”
State Sen. Scott Sifton, who had represented south St. Louis County in the Legislature’s upper chamber until 2020, dropped out of the race following the announcement. In a campaign video, Valentine recounted her childhood growing up at the iconic family estate, Grant’s Farm, and highlighted her financial contributions to the nursing program at St. Louis University.
“Across Missouri, our communities are strong but our politics are broken,” she said. “We just need to talk to each other again. We need something different. We need a new politics.”
Valentine is the daughter of the late Anheuser-Busch beer baron August “Gussie” Busch Jr., who died in 1989. Her mother, Gertrude “Trudy” Busch, was Busch’s third wife. She has been a major fundraiser for Democratic candidates. In 2016, she held a fundraiser at Grant’s Farm, the historic homestead of the Busch family, for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
The Democratic field until this point has been led by Marine veteran Lucas Kunce, who has raised significant money and is touting a populist platform in his bid for the nomination. Other Democratic candidates include entrepreneur Spencer Toder, Air Force veteran Jewel Kelly and college instructor Gena Ross. LGBTQ+ rights activist Tim Shepard also endorsed Busch Valentine on Tuesday.
A statement released by Kunce’s campaign on Tuesday touted his candidacy in the race thus far and positioned him in direct opposition to Busch Valentine.
“Missouri deserves a warrior for working people, a proven patriot who’s served his country, who has the courage to stand up to criminal politicians, corrupt elites running massive multinational corporations and billionaire heiresses who have been stripping our communities for parts,” spokesperson Connor Lounsbury said.
The party’s nominee will face tough odds in a seat that currently is held by the GOP and has a competitive field, including former Gov. Eric Greitens, Attorney General Eric Schmitt, U.S. Reps. Vicky Hartzler and Billy Long, Mark McCloskey and Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz. Republicans nationally have expressed concern that a Greitens nomination could thin the margins and give Democrats a chance to flip the seat.
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice