Eric Schmitt
Eric SchmittOliver Contreras/Sipa USA via Reuters Connect

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt defeated former Gov. Eric Greitens and 19 others in the Republican primary for the US Senate on Tuesday, according to The Associated Press.

Republican leaders had feared that a Greitens win would jeopardize a red state Senate seat in the November general election. Greitens resigned four years ago in the midst of a sex scandal, two criminal charges that were eventually dropped amid a very real risk of impeachment. This year, his ex-wife accused him of abuse.

Schmitt defeated a field that also included US Reps. Vicky Hartzler and Billy Long, Mark McCloskey, and comedian and Navy veteran Eric McElroy.

The election came a day after former US President Donald Trump caused confusion when he expressed support for “ERIC” in the Missouri primary.

Trump presumably meant either Schmitt or Greitens, but he did not identify which of them he meant, or whether he was even referring to McElroy.

“I trust the Great People of Missouri, on this one, to make up their own minds, much as they did when they gave me landslide victories in the 2016 and 2020 Elections, and I am therefore proud to announce that ERIC has my Complete and Total Endorsement!” Trump wrote.

Both Greitens and Schmitt were quick to claim Trump had endorsed them.

“I’m grateful for President Trump’s endorsement. As the only America First candidate who has actually fought for election integrity, border security & against the Left’s indoctrination of our kids – I’ll take that fight to the Senate to SAVE AMERICA!” Schmitt tweeted. “From the beginning, I’ve been the true MAGA Champion fighting against the RINO establishment backing Schmitt.”

Greitens also alleged he had the former president’s support, saying he “just had a GREAT phone call with President Trump.”