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Missouri Elects GOP Navy SEAL Vet Greitens

State's first Jewish governor

Eric Greitens
• November 9, 2016 1:48 am

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Former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens is Missouri's new governor after beating Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster.

Greitens had never held elected office before winning the Republican gubernatorial nomination in August and will be the first Jewish governor in state history. He trailed Koster by double digits as the race entered its final phase, but closed the polls in the final weeks running on his message as an outsider.

Greitens was a Rhodes Scholar in the 1990s before joining the Navy to become a Navy SEAL. He earned a Bronze Star for his service in Iraq after a chlorine bomb attack on an Iraqi facility with which he was embedded. After leaving active duty, Greitens founded The Mission Continues, a nonprofit that placed veterans at community service organizations.

The nonprofit has been praised by national publications and partnered with the Clinton Global Initiative in its opening years. However, Greitens made headlines in September by calling on the Clinton family to divest from the family foundation and allow it to operate independently in light of pay-to-play allegations, as well as foreign donations during Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state.

The foundation later said that Hillary Clinton would relinquish ties to the charity in the event that she won the presidency.

Greitens frequently criticized Koster for endorsing Clinton early in the Democratic primary. Koster attempts to distance himself from the presidential nominee as the race wore on.

Greitens leads by 8 points with about 90 percent of the vote remaining. Donald Trump won the state by more than 20 points.

Published under: 2016 Election