Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Josh Hawley, Elected Attorney General, is Missouri's Favorite Zealot

Posted By on Wed, Nov 9, 2016 at 6:34 AM

click to enlarge Josh Hawley won easily in the Republican primary for state Attorney General. - IMAGE VIA FACEBOOK
  • Image via Facebook
  • Josh Hawley won easily in the Republican primary for state Attorney General.
Editor's note: This post has been corrected with Josh Hawley's correct office.

In a night for zealots, Josh Hawley became a champion.

The 36-year-old Mizzou law school professor, seen by supporters as the boy genius of the far right, beat a weak Democratic candidate and will be Missouri's new attorney general. He'll replace Chris Koster who ran for governor and was easily defeated by Eric Greitens.

Greitens, like Hawley, campaigned on the virtue of coming from the outside. Neither had held public office, which played well in a year when Missourians outside of the metro area voted for Donald Trump in large numbers.

But while the border-wall promises of Trump and the machine-gun postures of Greitens often gave the appearance of politicking for show, Hawley came off as a true believer.

The newcomer proved to have a taste for the grimy side of elections during a particularly nasty primary battle with Kurt Schaefer. He was the smiling, clean-cut private school grad, who grinned as supporters traded groin shots with the senator from Columbia and sparked fears of foreigners at the door.

Hawley's campaign accepted mammoth donations from a union-fighting backer, and he made clear he'd fight any federal "overreach" when it came to issues such as guaranteeing same-sex couples equal rights. Hawley described the jailing of the small-town Kentucky clerk, Kim Davis, as "tragic" after she refused to provide marriage licenses to gay couples.

Missouri loved it. He crushed Schaefer in the primary, and he hammered his Democratic opponent, former Cass County prosecutor Teresa Hensley, on Tuesday night. It wasn't even close.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at doyle.murphy@riverfronttimes.com or follow on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy.


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