Missouri state Senator Bill Eigel (R-Weldon Spring) officially launched his bid to become governor of the Show-Me State on Friday. Eigel, who has represented Missouri’s 23rd District in the state Senate since 2017, made things official at a Campaign Launch Event Friday afternoon at St. Charles Regional Airport.
Eigel’s entry will make it a three-way race for the Republican nomination to replace outgoing Governor Mike Parson, who’s served in the role since 2018 when former Governor Eric Greitens resigned. Current Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe and current Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft are also vying to become the state’s next chief executive. Democrat Crystal Quade, the House Minority Leader, has announced she is running for the office as well, but given Missouri’s decidedly red hue in recent years and given that the Republican candidates won the seat in 2016 and 2020 by six points and 17 points respectively, the focus likely will remain on the Republican primary.
Eigel, 45, lives in Weldon Spring, MO, with his wife, Amanda, and their two children. A bit more background:
The Eigel Family includes Bill, Amanda, son Kevin (19) and daughter Lisa (16), as well as two poorly behaved Great Danes, Pika and Belle. The Eigel family is a Christian one—they worship at St Joseph’s Parish in Cottleville, Missouri—the same church Amanda and her family attended where she grew up.
Bill Eigel began his adult life as an Aircraft Maintenance Officer in the United States Air Force, where he achieved the rank of Captain and served for almost eight years at assignments in Louisiana, Arizona and finally at Whiteman Air Force Base in Knob Noster, Missouri. Bill was the Aircraft Maintenance Officer In Charge for half of America’s entire fleet of B-2 stealth bombers.
During his service, Bill deployed to multiple foreign locations, including Ashgabat, Turkmenistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, where he was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal for service as the Officer-In-Charge for America’s primary airlift refuel stop between Afghanistan and Europe in 2004.
Eigel’s campaign website highlights the following as key components of his platform:
- Defense of Elections
- Defense of Economic Freedom
- Defense of Parents, Kids, and Families in Education
- Defense of the 2nd Amendment
- Defense of Life
During his time in the Senate, Eigel has made a name for himself, challenging Senate leadership and expressing criticism of the failure to follow through on key GOP agenda items.
Since entering the legislature, Eigel has joined some other Republicans in being critical of Senate GOP leadership on a host of issues — including the size of the state budget and, in 2022, efforts to redraw Missouri’s congressional districts. In an interview in February, Eigel said that Republican voters were growing increasingly disenchanted with the Missouri GOP.
“As I’m traveling around the state, I’m hearing a lot of Republicans that are expressing disappointment that we haven’t enacted more big Republican policies,” Eigel said. “And they’re pointing to states like Florida where guys like Ron DeSantis have the perception that they are. So I want to see a world where Ron DeSantis wakes up in the morning, and turns on his television and says: ‘Man, what about all the good things that are going on Missouri?’”
Eigel looks to carry that approach over into his gubernatorial campaign, telling RedState:
We can’t just blame the democrats for where we’re at. It’s the squish Republicans who sat and let it happen. We need bold leadership. We need conservative warriors, leaders willing to stand up against the status quo establishment. I’m going to offer that alternative to the people of Missouri.
The Republican primary election is set for August 6, 2024.