JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens appeared to remain in the good graces of some Republicans Friday as he sought forgiveness and a political path forward following his admission of an extramarital affair.
Though expressing disappointment about the affair and concern about some of the more lurid allegations that Greitens has denied, some Republican voters and party officials said their support for Greitens had not been shaken.
Vince Harris, from the small town of Trenton, northeast of Kansas City, took to Greitens’ Facebook page to defend him against commenters who labeled the governor a hypocrite for campaigning on family values in 2016 though he had cheated on his wife in 2015.
To say public officials should be held to a higher standard is “a little bit silly,” Harris told The Associated Press.
“Regardless of the office that’s being held, the person holding it is still a human being who has the same faults and vulnerabilities that we do. They’re going to make the same mistakes. They’re going to make some of the same goofs,” Harris added. “And I think to say that that impairs their ability to lead or to do their job, I think is just incorrect.”
Lawmakers at the Missouri Capitol are wrestling with the same question of whether Greitens can effectively carry out his agenda. Just hours before St. Louis television station KMOV broke news of the affair Wednesday night, Greitens had announced in his State of the State address that he would be unveiling the “boldest state tax reform in America” next week.
On Friday, his office declined to comment on whether that still would occur.
Some Democratic lawmakers have called for Greitens to resign. Other Republicans and Democrats have said they want an investigation, which the St. Louis circuit attorney has launched. But still other Republicans appear ready to forgive.
State Sen. Ed Emery said Greitens called him Friday to apologize for the affair and ask for forgiveness. Emery said he was “amazed at the character” of both Greitens and his wife, Sheena, for working through the difficult situation.
“I made sure the governor knew that I understood the kind of pressure that men were under …. that I’ve prayed for him and will continue to pray for him,” Emery said.
Greitens has acknowledged being “unfaithful” in his marriage, but his attorney has denied allegations contained in a recorded conversation between the woman and her ex-husband that Grietens coerced the women to remain silent by taking a photo of…