Coburn, Johnson Backing Brunner in Missouri
Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Ron Johnson, R-Wis., will endorse businessman John Brunner in the Missouri Senate race, giving the political newcomer some high-profile fiscal conservative support in a competitive campaign.
"John Brunner will be a force for fiscal conservatism in the U.S. Senate, and I am proud to endorse his candidacy," Coburn said in a statement first released to Hotline On Call.
"I know from personal experience that defeating an incumbent Democrat senator is hard work; but I also know that just like the voters of Wisconsin did with me in 2010, Missouri voters are ready to send someone to Washington D.C. who understands that government doesn't create jobs, government creates debt," added Johnson.
Brunner is in a three-way race for the Republican nomination with Rep. Todd Akin and former Treasurer Sarah Steelman. No one is running away from the pack right now. The winner will take on Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.
The endorsements will boost Brunner's national profile and help him raise money (though he has mainly been a self-funder, contributing over a million dollars to his campaign so far) more than it will aid him in the state, where most GOP voters are not likely to be moved in a major way by the news.
Johnson's decision is especially noteworthy. He's planning to stay neutral in his contested home state GOP Senate primary but is now showing a willingness to involve himself in GOP races elsewhere across the Senate landscape.