Missouri Treasurer Eric Schmitt was in Washington, D.C., on Thursday meeting with national Republicans to discuss a potential run for U.S. Senate next year.
During his visit, Schmitt met with leaders of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. The trip was first reported by the Washington Examiner.
Rich Chrismer, Schmitt’s campaign spokesman, declined to comment on the trip, saying only that Schmitt “is receiving significant encouragement from Missourians to consider the U.S. Senate race.”
Schmitt was elected treasurer last November. He’s one of a handful of Republicans looking at a run against U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill in 2018. On Tuesday, he held a news conference in St. Louis denouncing the budget situation in Illinois, an event many viewed as an attempt to raise his profile before jumping into the campaign.
State Rep. Paul Curtman, a Franklin County Republican, announced Thursday he was forming an exploratory committee to begin raising money for a potential U.S. Senate campaign. Tony Monetti, a retired Air Force pilot from Warrensburg, and Austin Petersen, a Kansas City resident who made an unsuccessful bid for the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination, are also officially in the race.
But all eyes remain fixed on the potential candidacy of Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley.
Hawley is getting pressured to jump into the race from many prominent Republicans, including Vice President Mike Pence. But he’s thus far remained on the fence, freezing the race in place as other potential candidates await Hawley’s decision.
A spokesman for McCaskill, the two-term Democrat who has more than $5 million in her campaign coffers, declined to comment on Schmitt’s D.C. meetings.