Brunner likely to join GOP race against McCaskill

John Brunner

— St. Louis businessman John Brunner is expected to formally announce his candidacy for U.S. Senate on Monday, joining two Republicans in hopes to take on U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill next year.

John Hancock, a political consultant for Brunner, confirmed to PoliticMo that Monday will be an “announcement about John’s political future.”

Brunner, former chairman of Vi-John Inc., a health care products company, will join the Republican primary race against former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman and St. Louis Congressman Todd Akin, in their contest to take on McCaskill, a first term Democrat.

Brunner will make the first announcement at a St. Louis area distribution center for Vi-Jon (the company that makes Germ-X), followed by a series of announcements across the state.

Brunner, 59, has never before held political office, but has been a political player, contributing thousands of dollars to Republican candidates, including Akin’s congressional campaigns.

In an interview with PoliticMo in July, Brunner said while Akin has done a “good job” in congress, he thinks it takes something more to succeed in the Senate.

“In times like this, in a crisis, the type of experience and skill sets that you need in D.C., in the Senate, is going to take a whole different skill set than someone who’s been in politics for 25 years,” he said.

Brunner said the Republican Senate candidate will need a “great organization” to take on McCaskill.

“This is going to be one of the biggest, toughest campaigns in Missouri history. Claire is a brilliant politician,” he said.

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