Eric Greitens Allegations Could Wreck GOP Chances of Taking Back Senate

New allegations against U.S. Senate candidate and former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens could wreck the Republican Party's chances of retaking the Senate in November.

On Monday, Greiten's ex-wife, Sheena Greitens, alleged in court documents that her former husband was physically abusive and showed "unstable and coercive behavior," while efforts were made to limit his access to firearms.

Several Republicans have urged Greitens to drop out of the race to replace Republican Senator Roy Blunt, who is retiring. Blunt's seat would normally be considered safe for the GOP but the allegations against Greitens could make him vulnerable to a Democratic opponent.

Republicans are aiming to take back the Senate, which is currently evenly divided, in the November midterm elections and an upset defeat in Missouri could derail the party's plans.

Senator Josh Hawley, a Republican who is the junior senator from Missouri, called for Greitens to withdraw from the race on Monday. Hawley said it was "time for Eric Greitens to leave this race."

'Disturbing' Accusations

Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) said Greitens "doesn't seem like the kind of person who ought to be running for the U.S. Senate" and Senator Rick Scott, chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), called the accusations "pretty disturbing."

Scott didn't call for Greitens to step aside, but said: "We've got to understand what the facts are," and added that he believed voters "will make a good decision."

Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) said "I wish he would" drop out.

"I had qualms about him running with that first incident," Ernst said on Monday. "So this is not getting better for him."

Ernst was referring to fact that Greitens resigned as governor of Missouri in 2018 during his first term amid allegations that he had sexually assaulted a woman.

Both Hawley and Ernst previously endorsed one of Greiten's Republican primary opponents, Representative Vicky Hartzler of Missouri's 4th congressional district. Hartzler also called on Greitens to drop out, saying on Monday that "it's time for Eric to get out of the Senate race and to get professional help."

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who is also running to replace Blunt, said in a statement: "The behavior described in this affidavit is cause for Eric Greitens to be in prison, not on the ballot for U.S. Senate."

"He should end his campaign immediately," Schmitt said.

Representative Billy Long of Missouri's 7th district, another GOP primary candidate, also said Greitens should withdraw.

In a statement on Monday, Greitens called his ex-wife's accusations "completely fabricated, baseless allegations" and said he would seek full custody of his sons.

Former President Donald Trump has not yet endorsed a candidate in the Missouri Senate race and Senator Scott called on the former president to take "big pause" before doing so.

Newsweek has asked the Eric Greitens campaign for comment.

Eric Greitens Addresses a Crowd
Former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens addresses the crowd at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery on February 22, 2017, in University City, Missouri. Several Republicans have urged Greitens to drop out of the U.S. Senate race in Missouri following accusations from his ex-wife. Michael Thomas/Getty Images