The Next Four Years: Eric Greitens set to take office


Millions of Missourians took to the polls on Nov. 8, 2016, to decide the future of their state. On that day, 51 percent of the state elected Republican candidate, Eric Greitens, to be the next governor. After months of primaries, campaigning and severe TV ads against his opponent, Democratic candidate Chris Koster, Greitens emerged victorious and assumed the office of governor on Jan. 9, 2017.

Eric Greitens attended Parkway North High School in St. Louis and attended Duke University where he earned a boxing scholarship, according to He also attended Oxford University, and shortly thereafter joined the United States Navy and later became a Navy SEAL. Greitens is also the founder of The Mission Continues, a charity designed to aid veterans as they return to civilian life.

On the campaign trail, Greitens has promised Missourians to cut back regulations, taxes and spending. He also maintains pro-life, anti-gun restriction stances, wants to expand the agricultural business of Missouri and plans to pass Right to Work legislation.

Greitens became the Republican Gubernatorial candidate after defeating fellow Republican candidates, John Brunner, Catherine Hannaway and Peter Kinder. After his nomination, Greitens and his opponent, Koster, squared off in many TV campaigns to defame the other. Also, in debates conducted by the Missouri Press Association, Greitens and Koster became the clear front runners and were the main focus of each debate. The two disagree on how to handle gay marriage, Medicaid expansion and education funding. Greitens specifically focused on Koster’s career in politics and how he handled his money.

“Koster is a deeply confused career politician who doesn’t understand the difference between being a CEO and a chief operating officer,” Greitens said in a debate against Koster. “Big government liberals like Chris Koster think the answer to everything is spending more money.”

Remarks like this were seen on many of the political ads Greitens featured during his campaign. Many ads posted by the Greitens campaign used these same wordings, and many featured former service men that either supported Greitens or had been a part of his charity. In response, Koster funded ads that brought into question Greitens’ handling of The Mission Continues’ money, accusing him of taking a $700,000 paycheck from the charity.

According to Charity Navigator, a charity watchdog company, Greitens received a salary of $150,000 that was eventually raised to $175,000, 30 percent higher than the average CEO.

Even with Koster’s attack ads, he failed to spark voter interest in rural Missouri like Greitens, only winning two urban counties in the St. Louis and Kansas City area, according the Office of the Missouri Secretary of State. This came as a surprise after the Missouri Farm Bureau formally endorsed Koster. But, what may have possibly shifted the scales towards Greitens was the endorsement of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce who supported Greitens for his ideas of economic prosperity through decreasing regulations and taxes.

“With Eric Greitens as governor, Missouri would be poised for rapid progress on several long-needed, pro-expansion policy priorities,” President of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce said in an interview with the Kansas City Star.

Greitens brings to the office the promise to sign Right to Work and ban lobbyist gifts to legislators, according to Also, he plans to raise teachers’ pay in Missouri while maintaining the same level of educational funding and investing in infrastructure to improve Missouri’s 34,000 miles of roads.

Greitens’ message of being a conservative political outsider appealed to many Missourians, and the state will be looking to what the next administration will do to improve the lives of its constituents. The former Navy SEAL will bring his personal experience as well as his international experience to the table to make his mark on history.