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Greitens Gears Up for Likely Gubernatorial Run on Tour Across Missouri

Abigail Keel

Eric Greitens is technically a prospective candidate for Governor of Missouri, but his campaign stickers announcing “Greitens for Governor,” and his 3-month tour of the state show he is pretty serious.

Despite having no experience holding political office, Eric Greitens launched an exploratory committee in February and has raised a little over $1 million so far, according to the Missouri Ethics Commission.

Greitens is an author and a former US Navy SEAL and Rhodes Scholar. He also founded The Mission Continues, a non-profit organization that helps returning veterans integrate into the community.

He said the culture in Jefferson City needs to change and Missourians are looking for someone who isn’t a career politician.

“They’re not looking for people who are used to the status quo,” he said.  “Or the same permanent political class, who are supported by the same corrupt consultants. They’re looking for somebody who is going to come in and really get results.”

Greitens said his military and private sector background, along with his executive personality, have prepared him for the job.

He is running against well-known names in Missouri politics like Republicans Catherine Hanaway and Peter Kinder, and Democrat Chris Koster.

What he called his “Listen and Lead” tour began this week. He said the goal is to hear regular citizens’ ideas and solutions to Missouri’s problems. These ideas will be integrated, he said, into his “blueprint for Missouri.”

“I think that what we have to do is we have to really honor the process of going out and talking to people, hearing their ideas, hearing their solutions,” he said. “And we are learning every day. And as we learn, we will build this plan.”

Abigail Keel is a senior student at the Missouri School of Journalism. She is originally from St. Louis, Missouri and grew up hating the drone of public radio in her parent's car. In high school, she had a job picking up trash in a park where she listened to podcasts for entertainment and made a permanent switch to public-radio lover. She's volunteered and interned for Third Coast International Audio Festival in Chicago, IL, and worked on the KBIA shows Faith and Values, Intersection and CoMO Explained.