Former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander thinks Republican elected officials who don’t want Governor Eric Greitens to leave office should follow him.
Kander made the comments last night while appearing at a Democratic fundraiser in Iowa. The former Democratic opponent of Republican U.S. Senator Roy Blunt said GOP party members should share his wish for Greitens to step down.
“I’m very much of the opinion that he should leave office, and that any Republican elected official in Missouri that hasn’t also come to that conclusion should probably follow him,” said Kander.
Kander narrowly lost the 2016 U.S. Senate race to incumbent Republican Roy Blunt by three-points in a year that the GOP dominated the polls to sweep every statewide Missouri seat in play. President Trump carried the state by 19 points in the same election.
Kander spoke with reporters in before stumping for six Democrats who are running to unseat Iowa’s Republican governor Kim Reynolds. Earlier this week, Reynolds refused to call on Governor Greitens to step down after Illinois GOP Governor Bruce Rauner did so earlier this month.
Greitens, who was considered to have a bright future in Republican politics before his legal turmoil set in, appeared in an ad for Rauner’s reelection campaign. He was also the headliner at an October fundraiser for Reynolds in Des Moines.
Kander, who now runs the Political Action Committee “Let America Vote”, has joined a chorus of political voices in calling for Greitens to leave office or be forced out. “There are a lot of reasons why he should resign,” Kander said. “And absolutely, I think that if he continues to refuse to do that the legislature ought to step in and remove him from office.”
Greitens faces two felony charges and numerous investigations into his activity. He’s set to go to trial next month on allegations he took a photo of his ex-mistress in a partially nude state without her permission while also possibly committing a crime by using a donor list from his former charity without permission for campaign purposes.
He’s being investigated over one or both of those alleged offenses by the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s office, Attorney Josh Hawley’s office, a special Missouri House committee and the state Ethics Commission.
Kander, who served one four-year term (2013-2017) as Missouri’s Secretary of State, founded “Let America Vote” after his run for Senate. The voting-rights organization is dedicated to ending voter suppression and gerrymandering.
Some national Democrats think the operation is a stepping stone to a possible run for President in 2020. Kander admitted he’s been considering the possibility last night when he spoke to reporters before taking the stage in Iowa.
“It’s something that people do keep asking me about and that obviously makes me think about it,” said Kander. “But I’m really focused on continuing to do what I’m doing right now. I think it’s the most important thing I can be doing, fighting voter suppression across the country, fighting to make sure we take back the U.S. House of Representatives. And then after 2018, I’ll consider my options.”
Kander has appeared frequently in Iowa, which holds its key caucuses for both political parties at the beginning of the Presidential primaries. He’s also made numerous stops in New Hampshire, which is the first state to hold a primary every four years.
The 36-year-old from Overland Park, Kansas served four-years in the Missouri House (2009-2013) before becoming Secretary of State.
He’s a former Army National Guard instructor who volunteered for a tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2005. Kander recorded a memorable campaign video during his run for the Senate in which he assembled a rifle together piece by piece while blindfolded and simultaneously delivering his pitch for office.
Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson contributed to this story.