Trudy Busch Valentine, heiress to the Anheuser-Busch brewing fortune, announced last week that she is entering the primary race for the Democratic nomination for the Missouri U.S. Senate seat of retiring Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO).
Valentine tweeted that she was raised to care for others as a nurse and “lifelong advocate for children.” She added that the government in Washington controlled by her political party “isn’t delivering.”
In support of her candidacy, she cited her relationship with her parents who ran Anheuser-Busch, her work as a nurse, and establishing the Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing at St. Louis University. She also described the death of her husband from cancer and the loss of her son, Matthew, to an opioid overdose.
A report was published by The Intercept last week alleging that Valentine won a whites-only beauty pageant in the 1970s. She was reportedly crowned as “Queen of Love and Beauty” at the St. Louis Veiled Prophet Ball in 1977, which was during the time the competition expressly excluded women of color and Jews.
A photo published by the outlet shows Valentine standing next to the pageant’s “veiled prophet” wearing a white sheet in a manner similar to Ku Klux Klan garb. Valentine told reporters that at the time of the pageant, she “failed to fully grasp the situation.”
She joins Democrats Lucas Kunce, Jewel Kelly, and Spencer Toder in the primary race. The Republican primary field is also crowded, with Attorney General Eric Schmitt, Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), former Governor Eric Greitens, and Rep. Billy Long (R-MO) fighting for the GOP nomination.
The Republican primary has seen a shake-up in recent days as allegations became public that Greiten’s ex-wife Shenna Greitens claimed the former governor had been violent with her and their children. He resigned as governor in 2018 while facing allegations of an extramarital affair and sexual misconduct.
President Donald Trump carried Missouri in the 2020 presidential race with 56.8 percent of the vote over Joe Biden who received 41.4 percent.