In an election dubbed as the “year of the outsider,” Missourians have elected Navy SEAL Eric Greitens as governor.
“We did more than win an election, we restored power to the people and we took our state back,” Greitens told a cheering crowd at the Doubletree Hotel in Chesterfield.
Greitens defeated Attorney General Chris Koster (D), who told supporters it was an honor to be considered for the gubernatorial position.
“Throughout my professional life, I have loved working on your behalf, as a prosecutor, as State Senator and Attorney General. And even now, I’m grateful for the responsibility and experience that we have shared,” Koster told supporters at the Chase Park Plaza in St. Louis.
Greitens focused on the future, during his victory speech.
“Our mission in this campaign was and is, to build a stronger and a better Missouri that we can take in a new and a better direction, and that’s what we’re going to do. That’s what we’re going to do,” Greitens says.
Greitens campaigned as an outsider to win the nomination, and blasted Koster as a “career politician”. During his concession speech, Koster encouraged Greitens and lawmakers in both parties to cooperate.
“My prayer is that all of Missouri’s chosen leaders will make time to listen and learn from those of different backgrounds, to gain a greater appreciation for the vast complexity of the state we love,” Koster says.
Greitens will be inaugurated in January. He’ll replace Democratic Governor Jay Nixon, who is finishing his second term.
Republicans swept the statewide elections on Tuesday in Missouri. State Auditor Nicole Galloway (D) is on the ballot in 2018.
GOP Senator Roy Blunt defeated Democratic Secretary of State Jason Kander.
In other key elections in Missouri on Tuesday:
** Republican State Senator Mike Parson is the Lieutenant Governor-Elect, beating former Democratic Congressman Russ Carnahan.
** Republican Jay Ashcroft defeated Democrat Robin Smith for Missouri Secretary of State.
** GOP State Senator Eric Schmitt defeated Democrat Judy Baker for State Treasurer.
** GOP constitutional attorney Josh Hawley defeated Democrat Teresa Hensley for Attorney General.
Republicans have retained their veto-proof majorities in both chambers.
Missourians also re-elected all eight House members in the state’s congressional delegation, including U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Kansas City), who trailed most of the night.