Republican Eric Greitens wins crowded gubernatorial primary

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CHESTERFIELD - Former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens defeated three other candidates in the Republican primary for governor Tuesday night.

He won against former Missouri House Speaker Catherine Hanaway, Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder and St. Louis businessman John Brunner in one of the most competitive Republican gubernatorial races in recent Missouri history.

Greitens will face Chris Koster, the Democratic candidate and current Missouri attorney general, in November's general election.

"If Chris Koster was going to fix Missouri's problems, he would have done it already," Greitens said to his watch party supporters, as he accepted the nomination.

More than 200 Greitens supporters attended his watch party in Chesterfield Tuesday night. The campaign's co-chairman, David Steelman, said Missourians are ready for a change, and Greitens is the candidate who will make it happen.

“We don’t have the opportunities in the state of Missouri as we did when I was younger, and if we’re going to get those opportunities back, we’re going to make this state what it can be, we’re going to need a conservative revolution. We’re going to need Eric Greitens,” Steelman said.

Steelman said what happened in Ferguson is one of many examples of poor leadership by current governor Jay Nixon, a Democrat. Steelman said Greitens would have handled things much differently.

“He would have gone there, he would have talked to both sides. Ferguson would not have happened if Greitens was governor,” Steelman said.

He compared Greitens to another conservative outsider who broke into the political scene first by being elected governor.

“Eric Greitens, I believe, will prove to be the most transformational governor since Ronald Reagan was elected in California. He’ll make a difference not just for Missouri, but for the whole country,” Steelman said.