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Trailwatch: Money, guns, sex slaves in Missouri and Kansas political rhetoric

The debate stage in St. Louis Wednesday, pre-clash
The debate stage in St. Louis Wednesday, pre-clash Dave Helling/Kansas City Star

Wednesday’s Missouri GOP governor’s debate was smart, but fairly tame — until the closing moments. We’re not sure we’ve ever heard the words “sex slave” in a political debate. At least, on the air.

To the trail! Uh, carefully:

Missouri GOP governor

All four candidates — Eric Greitens, Catherine Hanaway, Peter Kinder and John Brunner — talked about Ferguson, gun laws, tax policy (all four want to be Kansas-lite) and Gov. Jay Nixon at their televised debate in St. Charles.

Jason Hancock’s story is here. The P-D’s report here. Notice both discuss the sex slave allegation: from Brunner, that Greitens has taken a campaign contribution from a man accused of sexual misbehavior.

“I refuse to be lectured on ethics by Eric Greitens who refuses to return $1 million his campaign took from a man charged with having a sex slave for 13 years,” Brunner said. “I’ve had enough of Eric Greitens’ hypocrisy and lies and again call on him to return the $1 million he’s taken from accused sex slave owner Michael Goguen.”

Greitens’ turned the exchange into a digital ad called “Slime.” In it, they use an excerpt from Brunner’s debate statement: “I try as a Marine not to get involved in a food fight with a bunch of sailors.”

Kinder planned a Friday fly-around in Missouri with three Navy SEALs. You can guess what they’re going to say.

Post-debate, Hanaway claimed victory in a fund-raising letter. Brunner was endorsed by the Gun Owners of America and Sen. Rand Paul this week.

A Monday poll for Missouri Scout has it Greitens, Brunner, Hanaway, Kinder.

Missouri U.S. Senate race

It’s all about the cash in the Roy Blunt-Jason Kander race. More from Steve Kraske here.

Blunt will be a no-show in Cleveland for the GOP Convention, while Kander is expected in Philly for Hillary. Kander also held a Kansas City-area meeting with small business owners Thursday.

This race remains on simmer — but will reach a boil after Labor Day.

Missouri A.G. GOP primary

And you thought the Josh Hawley-Kurt Schaefer race couldn’t get any uglier. You were wrong.

Lots of national attention has been drawn to this race. Kit Bond endorsed Hawley this week. Gov. Bobby Jindal was expected in KC Thursday evening to rally with Hawley.

Kansas 03 GOP primary

Rep. Kevin Yoder is facing unanticipated heat from his political right. Greg Goode is hammering Yoder on immigration, payday loan donors — Goode has run a nasty radio ad attacking Yoder.

So far we haven’t heard much push-back from Yoder. The primary is Aug. 2.

It isn’t clear if the attacks will have much success, but it can’t help Yoder in the general. The DCCC has added Democrat Jay Sidie to its “emerging” races list, suggesting additional resources might be available — if Sidie can survive his own primary in less than three weeks.

Kansas 01 GOP primary

Rep. Tim Huelskamp — also not expected in Cleveland —finds himself in a tough primary battle in the Kansas First against Roger Marshall. Politico offers a great take here.

Huelskamp joined the movement to impeach the IRS commissioner Friday.

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