Chris Koster wins Missouri Farm Bureau endorsement

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KPLR) - A major Missouri trade industry group endorsed a Democrat for governor for the first time in its history. The Missouri Farm Bureau’s Political Action Committee voted Friday to back Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster in his bid for the governorship.

Both Democrat Koster and Republican nominee and former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens presented their platforms to bureau members during a meeting in Jefferson City on Friday. They also answered questions from the audience.

Koster spoke about his record of supporting legislation and issues important to farmers, ranchers and agribusiness owners. He cited his voting record as a state senator, his actions as attorney general to challenge federal government rules that negatively impacted Missouri agriculture and his support for the 2014 “Right to Farm” amendment to Missouri’s Constitution.

Greitens, who has characterized himself as an outsider, spoke about his military and private sector experience. He also promised to sign a right to work bill and work with farm industry leaders to craft state policy to help farmers. One of Greitens’ major campaign promises is to "clean-up” Jefferson City. He wants to ban gifts from lobbyists, install term limits for all statewide offices (they only exist for governor and treasurer at present), and stop legislators from becoming lobbyists immediately after their terms of office end.

Farm Bureau president Blake Hurst said Koster’s experience in state government, his knowledge of farm issues, and his service to government played a role in the decision by the bureau’s political action committee.

To receive an endorsement, a candidate must receive two-thirds or more of the FARM-PAC trustee votes.

Members also endorsed Republican nominee for Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley. The general election is November 8.