National Journal: Running for Congress by Running Against Their Own Party

In Missouri and elsewhere, GOP candidates could decide the best path to office is criticizing their leaders.

In Mis­souri, for ex­ample, Sen­ate hope­ful Aus­tin Petersen launched his cam­paign over the Fourth of Ju­ly hol­i­day rail­ing against GOP lead­er­ship, which he says hasn’t done enough to help en­act the agenda of Pres­id­ent Trump, who won the state by 19 points last Novem­ber.

“I’m frus­trated with the dead­lock,” Petersen said in an in­ter­view with Na­tion­al Journ­al last Thursday. “At the mo­ment, Re­pub­lic­ans are in charge, Mitch Mc­Con­nell is the lead­er … but most of the prob­lems we’re see­ing right now are ac­tu­ally com­ing out of Con­gress.”


That dy­nam­ic could have a par­tic­u­lar im­pact in Sen­ate races, in­clud­ing in Mis­souri, where the GOP is lean­ing on cur­rent mem­bers of Con­gress step up as chal­lengers. Na­tion­al Re­pub­lic­ans had hoped Rep. Ann Wag­n­er would give them their best shot against Sen. Claire Mc­Caskill, be­fore Wag­n­er an­nounced Monday that she would not jump in­to the race.

Originally published in National Journal.