JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is spending an estimated $50,000 on a statewide radio ad buy to make the case for staying in office despite a grand jury accusing him of taking and transmitting a nonconsensual photo of a partially nude woman.
The first-term Republican governor’s political adviser, Austin Chambers, confirmed the ad buy Wednesday night, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports . Greitens, who has refused calls from fellow GOP lawmakers to resign, has acknowledged having an extramarital affair with his hairdresser in 2015 as he was preparing to run for governor but has denied criminal wrongdoing.
His defense team claims the grand jury that indicted him in February was presented no evidence that the governor transmitted a compromising photo of his lover. Transmission is a key element of the indictment because that makes the crime a felony instead of a misdemeanor. The case is set to go before a jury on May 14.
The ad, which is being financed by Greitens’ campaign fund, says liberals are “hell-bent on stopping his conservative reforms.” The governor had $2.7 million in his account as of Jan. 1, according to filings with the Missouri Ethics Commission.
“Eric Greitens is on a conservative mission for Missouri and he won’t stop until the mission is complete,” the ad says.
The governor, a former Navy SEAL who had not previously held elected office, has kept a low profile in recent weeks. Aides did not respond to questions from the Post-Dispatch about the governor’s activities Wednesday.