Republican voters in Missouri will have to decide whether a sex scandal should disqualify Eric Greitens from office, or whether he'll enjoy the immunity that Donald Trump was afforded, NBC reports. Greitens, who resigned as governor in 2018 after accusations of campaign finance violations and sexual misconduct, has announced he's launching a comeback by running for the Senate seat currently held by Republican Sen. Roy Blunt, who's retiring. Greitens said he considers himself cleared because the charge against him—felony invasion of privacy, having been accused by a woman he was having an affair with—was dropped, and an ethics panel blamed the campaign violations on his committee, rather than him.
This is the Missouri GOP's worst fear, Dave Helling writes in a Kansas City Star politics column. State party officials don't want him anywhere near the primary, and they're trying to get it down to a two-candidate race. That's because several Republicans are running or considering it, and in a large primary, Greitens conceivably could win with just 30% of the vote. If the field shrinks, the anti-Greitens vote could put another candidate over the top. Also, ads in a race involving Greitens could be painful for the party. His announcement puts pressure on Democrats, as well, Helling said. "This is bigger than politics," he writes. "Missouri Democrats now have a moral obligation to find a quality candidate to oppose Greitens. They simply can't concede the race to depravity." (Read more Eric Greitens stories.)