Future Stars, as the name indicates, is a new section of Conservative Intel designed to spotlight rising stars in the world of politics, policy, and government, giving readers an idea of who to watch out for in the future.
For Missouri Democrats with dreams of keeping their grasp on the Governor’s mansion, Eric Greitens may be their worst nightmare.
Greitens, a 41 year old Republican, Dad, and husband, recently announced his candidacy to replace Jay Nixon as Governor of the “Show Me” state.
Greitens has never held elected office before-but his resume is immensely impressive.
A Rhodes Scholar and former Navy Seal who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, Greitens has been awarded numerous military honors as a result of his leadership.
According to his bio:
“He has served as the Commander of a Joint Special Operations Task Unit, Commander of a Mark V Special Operations Craft Detachment, and as Commander of an al Qaeda Targeting Cell. Lieutenant Commander Greitens continues to serve in the reserves at U.S. Special Operations Command.
His personal military awards include the Navy Achievement Medal, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Purple Heart, and the Bronze Star.”
After he returned home, Greitens “founded The Mission Continues, a Missouri-based non-profit that helps returning veterans get back on their feet and give back to their communities. In 2014, Fortune Magazine named Eric one of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.”
Greitens has also written multiple books chronicling his service as a SEAL, as well as his humanitarian work around the world.
Among other places, Greitens has volunteered in war torn Rwanda, and even helped out at some of Mother Teresa’s shelters.
He was named a White House Fellow by President Bush in 2005 and has also been a Professor at Washington University in St. Louis.
A strong supporter of Israel, Greitens is expected to gain the support of multiple Jewish groups.
Like Reagan, Greitens is a former Democrat. He was even recruited by the House Dems campaign wing, the DCCC, to run for Congress.
Writing about the transformation, Greitens cites his military service as a key factor. He also displays the passion and knowledge of the issues that has Jefferson City Dems worried about their Gubernatorial prospects in 2016.
“I was taught to stand up for the little guy, and that bigger government was the best way to do that,” Greitens said. “I registered to vote as a Democrat, and several years ago some Democrats even tried to recruit me to run for Congress.
There was one rather large problem. As I got older, I no longer believed in their ideas. Even worse, I had concluded that liberals aren’t just wrong. All too often they are world-class hypocrites. They talk a great game about helping the most vulnerable, with ideas that feel good and fashionable. The problem is their ideas don’t work, and often hurt the exact people they claim to help.
After four tours of duty as a Navy SEAL officer, I came home from Iraq and watched the VA – the second-biggest bureaucracy in the country – fail my friends. The VA was broken and my friends were suffering. And yet, time and again, the only “solution” I heard from liberals was to spend more money. It made me angry.
I was raised to stand up for the little guy, for working families and the middle class. I am committed to that principle today more than ever. And if I thought the Democratic Party had the right ideas to do that, I’d still be one of them. But they don’t. And if I trusted career politicians to fix the problems they created, I’d still be standing on the sidelines. But I don’t.
As Americans, we deserve much better than what we’re getting from our government. We don’t need more rhetoric. We want results. And that means changing politics as usual, which won’t be easy. But nothing worthwhile ever is. You have to fight for what you believe in, and I, for one, have never backed down from that kind of fight.”
The race is going pretty well for him so far.
According to Navy Times:
“Greitens is already the top fundraiser in a crowded GOP field thanks to an exploratory campaign committee that’s raised more than $1 million in recent months, boosting his total haul to more than $2 million.
He touted both his military background and lack of political pedigree before a crowd of several hundred supporters at an announcement in suburban St. Louis near his childhood home.
“I’m running for governor because we need a political outsider to move Missouri forward,” Greitens said. “We have a political class of corrupt consultants, well-paid lobbyists, and career politicians who have been in Jefferson City for decades. They have produced nothing for us but embarrassment and failure.”
Greitens wouldn’t be the first SEAL successful in a major bid for office recently: Congressman Ryan Zinke, a Republican from Montana, is also a former Navy SEAL.
So far, his opponents include:
- John Brunner, businessman and candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2012
- Bob Dixon, State Senator
- Catherine Hanaway, former Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives and former United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri
- Peter Kinder, Lieutenant Governor of Missouri