The Buzz

Kit Bond backing Catherine Hanaway for Missouri governor

In February, former Missouri Sen. Kit Bond was asked if he was backing his former aide, Catherine Hanaway, for Missouri governor.

Not yet, Bond answered.

“She’s a great candidate,” the former senator said at the time, adding that it was “a little too early” for him to weigh in.

Things have changed.

An invitation for a Tuesday night reception in Kansas City at the home of long-time GOP backer Ann Dickinson lists Kit and Linda Bond as “special guests” for the evening.

The endorsement is a big boost for Hanaway’s campaign at a time when the GOP race is expected to evolve into a primary showdown between Hanaway and Tom Schweich, the state auditor. Schweich is expected to jump into the race soon.

Bond, now a lobbyist, is not known for getting involved in GOP primary fights. Schweich has the backing of another former Missouri senator, Jack Danforth.

In February, Bond was focused on his work trying to expand Medicaid in Missouri. “Let’s worry about Medicaid first, 2016 second,” he said at the time.

How Hanaway stands on Medicaid expansion isn’t yet known.

The list of hosts for Tuesday’s reception indicates that Hanaway has picked up significant support from Kansas City’s GOP establishment.

Named are former Bond chief of staff Warren Erdman, former Sprint head Gary Forsee, construction titan Terry Dunn, former Parks Board leader Anita Gorman, former U.S. attorney Todd Graves and a host of elected officials, including state Sen. Will Kraus of Lee’s Summit, former Sen. Luann Ridgeway, state Rep. Mike and Connie Cierpiot, Rep. T.J. Berry and Rep. Noel Shull.