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Missouri Attorney General Hawley visits D.C. as he weighs Senate run

This June 2016 photo provided by St. Louis Public Radio shows University of Missouri law professor Josh Hawley. Hawley is in Washington, D.C., this week as he continues to mull a run against U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill in 2018.
This June 2016 photo provided by St. Louis Public Radio shows University of Missouri law professor Josh Hawley. Hawley is in Washington, D.C., this week as he continues to mull a run against U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill in 2018. AP

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley is in Washington, D.C., this week as he continues to mull a run against U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill in 2018.

Hawley, a Republican elected in November, has met with Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, Justice Department officials and others, according to his spokesman Scott Paradise.

“The Hawley Committee makes an ongoing effort to communicate Josh's priorities and work to the people of Missouri,” Paradise said.

The trip happens at a time when Democrats are scrutinizing Hawley’s state-level spending. Hawley spent roughly $170,000 from January to June from his state campaign account consulting and ads that promote his work as attorney general without mentioning a U.S. Senate run or a future state-level race.

During that same state Treasurer Eric Schmitt, who has also been mentioned as a potential Senate candidate, has spent only $300 from his state campaign coffers.

Missouri Democratic Party Communications Director Meira Bernstein criticized Hawley saying he appears to be more focused on climbing the political ladder than looking out for the people of Missouri.

“What promises did Josh Hawley make behind closed doors to D.C. Republicans today?” Bernstein said in a statement. “And why won’t he be clear with Missourians where he stands on D.C. Republican policies, such as the current health care overhaul? Hawley has a lot of explaining to do.”

Bryan Lowry: 816-234-4077, @BryanLowry3

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