Republican incumbent Eric Schmitt defeated Democrat Rich Finneran to earn a second term as Missouri’s attorney general.
Schmitt won a similar share of the vote compared to his Republican counterparts in state. State Republicans like Gov. Mike Parson, Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe and Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft all joined Schmitt in winning re-election at state-level offices.
Schmitt centered his campaign around tackling violent crime. As attorney general, Schmitt created the Safer Streets Initiative in 2019 to reduce violent crime rates in the St. Louis area. In the program, Schmitt paired prosecutors from his office with federal prosecutors to boost the number of charges and sentences criminals get.
Schmitt was not available for an interview.
Finneran focused his campaign on criticizing the attorney general for being too interested in boosting his political brand. He has criticized Schmitt for partaking in a lawsuit with other Republican attorneys general to challenge the Affordable Care Act. He has also criticized him for his push to sue China for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Finneran said Schmitt has helped change the attorney general position into a political one with politically charged lawsuits.
“It’s only in the last few years that we have seen the Republican administration running the attorney general’s office and turning it into a political vehicle,” he said. “And that’s what we think needs to be ended here in the state.”
Schmitt is a former state senator and treasurer, and he was appointed to the attorney general position after Josh Hawley gave up the position when he was selected to the U.S. Senate in 2018.