Greitens and Ricketts, who is currently co-chairman of the Republican Governors Association, briefly overlapped in their gubernatorial terms: Ricketts was elected in 2014, while Greitens won in Missouri in 2016. Ricketts’ mother, Marlene , gave $50,000 to Greitens’ campaign for governor that year, according to state campaign finance records.
In October 2017, shortly before the scandal broke, Greitens was a main guest at a Ricketts-hosted political steak fry event in Shelton, Neb. The then-Missouri governor had been considered a rising star in the GOP, although the party would not drop him until a few months later.
Ricketts has shown a willingness to spend out of pocket to stop his political enemies as his time-limited term draws to a close. Ricketts and his father, billionaire TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts, earlier this year paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to an outside group that targeted Nebraska Republican Charles Herbster, a nemesis of Ricketts who ran a campaign unsuccessful primary to succeed Ricketts as governor.
Anti-Greitens super PAC Show Me Values has spent the last month airing hard-hitting ads to sue the former governor over his ex-wife’s sexual assault allegations and accusations that he physically abused her. their children. Since its founding in June, the super PAC has invested more than $5 million in the race — a substantial sum that top Republicans hope will sink Greitens.
Republicans in Missouri and nationally are deeply worried about Greitens winning the party’s Senate nomination, believing he could lose the seat to a Democrat in the general election. Greitens ran in competition with two other candidates, State Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Representative Vicky Hartzler, in the GOP primary. Show Me Values materialized last month and is led by Johnny DeStefano, a Kansas City native who served in President Donald Trump’s administration.
The biggest super PAC donor was investor Rex Sinquefield, a Missouri GOP kingmaker who gave $1 million. He also received contributions from August Busch, heir to the Anheuser-Busch brewing fortune, and the American Society of Anesthesiologists.
Greitens attacked the group as part of an establishment-driven effort to derail it.
“Nothing will stop Governor Greitens from being the next U.S. Senator from Missouri, especially not a RINO group funded by… cronies” of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Greitens campaign manager Dylan said. Johnson, referring to the Republicans acronym in name only.