ST. LOUIS • Following an event to tout the administration’s tax cuts in St. Louis, Vice President Mike Pence will attend fundraisers for Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley and U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, lending support to two Republicans likely to face tight contests this November.
The St. Louis event on Thursday morning is hosted by America First Policies, a nonprofit organization set up last year to promote President Donald Trump’s policy agenda. It begins at 9:45 a.m. at the St. Louis Marriott Grand on Washington Avenue downtown. A Pence spokeswoman confirmed he will also attend a fundraiser for Hawley on Thursday, but few other details are available. A spokesman for Hawley’s U.S. Senate campaign could not be immediately reached for comment.
Pence will later appear at a fundraiser for Bost in O’Fallon, Ill., at the Regency Conference Center from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., said Dustin Rhodes, Bost’s campaign manager. The event is not open to the press.
Bost, a two-term incumbent from Murphysboro, Ill., faces St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly, a Democrat, in a nationally watched Metro East race.
Bost easily won in 2016, but Democrats think they have recruited a strong challenger in Kelly. Both candidates have been building campaign war chests, with each reporting roughly $1 million in their coffers in April.
Hawley is expected to be the GOP’s nominee to unseat incumbent U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo, and both sides have targeted Missouri as a top-priority race. It’s one of a handful of states that will determine control of the Senate in the last two years of Trump’s current term.
McCaskill raised more than double the money Hawley did in the last quarter, but the attorney general does have Trump’s support in a state the president won by almost 19 percentage points in 2016. Trump is set to attend a July 24 fundraiser for Hawley in Kansas City.
Hawley is one of 11 Republican U.S. Senate candidates on the Aug. 7 primary ballot. The others are: Brian G. Hagg, Bradley Krembs, Tony Monetti, Kristi Nichols, Ken Patterson, Austin Petersen, Peter Pfeifer, Fred Ryman, Christina Smith and Courtland Sykes.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.