Beer heiress Trudy Busch Valentine joins Missouri Democratic primary for Senate | KCUR 89.3

Beer heiress Trudy Busch Valentine entered the Democratic primary race for the U.S. Senate on Monday, giving the party a candidate who could potentially match Republican spending this year out of his own pocket.

In a three-minute video announcing her campaign, Valentine says she is entering the race to bridge political divides but provides no details on the issues facing the nation.

“It seems like we’ve lost our ability to be understanding and compassionate with each other,” Valentine said. “We have so much more that unites us than divides us.”

Valentine, a registered nurse, is a member of the family who owned a majority stake in Anheuser-Busch until it was sold to InBev in 2008 for $52 billion. Forbes magazine in 2020 listed the family’s wealth at $17.6 billion, the 16th largest family fortune in the country.

The share of his personal wealth is uncertain.

The campaign will be Valentine’s first bid for public office, although she is well known in Democratic political circles. According to Federal Election Commission data, Valentine donated $116,000 to Democratic party and candidate committees from 2015 to 2020. And in 2016, Valentine held a fundraiser at Grant’s Farm, the Busch family estate, for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Valentine’s entry led to the exit of one candidate, former state senator Scott Sifton, and has the potential to energize the Democratic primary for the nomination to replace retired U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, a Republican. Since Blunt announced last year that he would not seek a third term, much of the attention has focused on the Republican primary contest.

Filing closes at 5 p.m. Tuesday for the Aug. 2 primary. As of Monday afternoon, there were 19 Republicans deposed in the Senate, including six who register in the polls, with Attorney General Eric Schmitt, former Gov. Eric Greitens and U.S. Representative Vicky Hartzler holding the top spots in most surveys.

With Sifton’s withdrawal, there are 11 candidates for the Democratic nomination.

In a press release explaining his withdrawal, Sifton said he endorsed Valentine as the candidate most likely to hand the seat to Democrats for the first time since 1986.

Sifton was an early Democratic entrant in the race, but his fundraising has been anemic. In the most recent filing, he said he raised just under $900,000, about a third of what lead fundraiser Lucas Kunce had reported.

“Polling just two weeks ago showed me dead even with Republican frontrunner Eric Greitens,” Sifton said. “And that was before the outrageous and sickening new revelations about Greitens came to light early last week. But as Democrats, we need to be united. Eric Greitens just can’t be our next senator, and I know that Trudy Busch Valentine gives us the best chance to win in November.”

In a court filing in a child custody case, Sheena Greitens, who divorced Eric Greitens in 2020, accused him of being physically and emotionally abusive towards her and their children.

Democrats have fallen on hard times in Missouri over the past decade, winning just one statewide contest since 2012. For much of 2021, some party members hoped former Governor Jay Nixon, out of office since 2017, would enter the race.

Valentine is the daughter of August “Gussie” Busch Jr., who died in 1989. Her mother, Gertrude Busch, was Busch’s third wife. She was born in 1957 and grew up on Grant’s Farm, the family’s 281-acre estate in St. Louis County.

She is a registered nurse who has worked extensively with children and in 2017 received the Ranken Jordan Service to Children Award from Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital in Maryland Heights. In 2019, St. Louis University School of Nursing was named in his honor after donating $4 million to the school. She graduated from the school in 1980.

Valentine was unavailable for an interview Tuesday morning.

In her announcement video, Valentine highlighted the 2002 death of her husband, attorney John Valentine, and the 2020 death of her son, Matthew Valentine, to show that she understands the loss and need for care. stronger health.

“Twenty months ago my eldest son died of an opioid overdose,” Valentine said. “Matt’s death brought so much sadness, but it also reignited my passion to make a positive difference for others, this time on a larger scale.”

This story originally appeared on the Missouri Independent.

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