The Buzz

GOP primary for Missouri attorney general turning into battle between Rex Sinquefield and David Humphreys

David Humphreys
David Humphreys

The contest between Republicans Kurt Schaefer and Josh Hawley over who will be their party’s nominee for attorney general has been heated, contentious and, at times, ugly.

It’s also becoming incredibly expensive.

On Thursday, Hawley recieved a $1 million check from David Humphreys, the Joplin businessman and longtime foe of organized labor. That brings the total Humphreys and his family have given Hawley to $1.75 million.

Schaefer is being bankrolled by Rex Sinquefield, the retired investor from St. Louis who is far and away the most prolific campaign donor in Missouri politics. So far he’s given more than $2 million to Schaefer’s campaign, including $1.4 million in recent weeks that were funneled through a trio of groups Sinquefield supports financially.

The result of this influx of cash will likely be a wave of TV ads. Schaefer has already launched a pair of attack ads accusing Hawley of providing legal assistance to terrorists. Meanwhile, Hawley launched an ad last month using old footage of Schaefer describing himself as a moderate.

But the attorney general primary isn’t the only place where Sinquefield and Humphreys are facing off.

Sinquefield is supporting former Missouri House speaker Catherine Hanaway in the four-way Republican primary for governor. Humphreys is backing another candidate — Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder.

Republican Eric Schmitt has enjoyed considerable support from Sinquefield in his quest to be the state’s treasurer. Humphreys fully funded a primary challenge for Schmitt, although that candidate subsequently dropped out of the race and returned the donations to Humphreys.

Both Sinquefield and Humphreys agree on who should be the next lieutenant governor, with both spending significantly in support of Republican Bev Randles.

Since 2008, when the Republican-led Missouri General Assembly did away with voter-imposed contribution limits, Sinquefield has donated $45 million to various candidates and campaigns in Missouri. Humphreys and his family have combined to give $10.4 million.