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Politically Speaking: Tony Monetti makes his case on why he should take on McCaskill

Tony Monetti
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio
Tony Monetti poses for a portrait in the St. Louis Public Radio studio.

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tony Monetti to the program.

Monetti is one of 20 people that have signed up to run for the seat that U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill currently holds. Ten Republicans, including Attorney General Josh Hawley, have filed thus far.

Monetti is a Warrensburg native and a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy. He served in the U.S. Air Force, where he flew the B-2 stealth bomber. 

In addition to owning Monetti’s restaurant in Warrensburg, Monetti was an assistant dean of aviation at the University of Central Missouri. He stepped away from that job to run for the Senate.

Hawley is the leading money-raiser among the GOP candidates, with nearly $1.2 million of cash on hand. That haul likely grew dramatically last week when President Donald Trump attended a fundraiser for Hawley in St. Louis County. Only Monetti and Austin Petersen have raised more than $200,000 thus far — though both have less than $40,000 in the bank.

Here’s what Monetti had to say during the show:

  • He thinks the U.S. Senate needs to have more people that have experienced military combat. He added that people who have served in the military have a deeper understanding about defense issues.
  • If he had been in the Senate in the early 2000s, Monetti said he would have voted against the Iraq War. He went on to say that “we’ve done a terrible job of doing what we think is the right thing. And they don’t have the guts to stand up and say enough.”
  • Monetti supports legislation that President Donald Trump signed into law that cuts the nation’s income and corporate taxes. In fact, Monetti said he would have cut taxes even deeper.
  • Even though Hawley has a sizable monetary, organizational and endorsement advantage, Monetti believes he can break through to Republican primary voters. “When I was at the Air Force Academy, both of my roommates quit. The upperclassmen told me, ‘You need to quit. You don’t have what it takes,’” he said. “But I looked them in the eyes, and I laughed and said, ‘No, sir, I’m going to make it.’”

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter: @jmannies

Follow Tony Monetti on Twitter: @Monetti4Senate

Music: “I1100” by Thursday

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.
Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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