Missouri Guv Candidate Worried About Anti-Semitic Attacks Before Suicide

FILE - This Sept. 4, 2013 file photo shows Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich, in St. Louis. At least 10 municipal courts will be audited over the next year to make sure they're not being used solely as revenue generators... FILE - This Sept. 4, 2013 file photo shows Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich, in St. Louis. At least 10 municipal courts will be audited over the next year to make sure they're not being used solely as revenue generators for cash-strapped communities, Schweich said. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Christian Gooden, File) EDWARDSVILLE INTELLIGENCER OUT; THE ALTON TELEGRAPH OUT MORE LESS
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Just days before his death, Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich (R) told the editorial page editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper that he was concerned about an anti-Semitic whisper campaign he believed a top state GOP official was making to damage his aspirations to become governor.

Schweich, who was an announced candidate for governor, died Thursday of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Clayton, Mo. police Chief Kevin Murphy later said in a press conference that Schweich’s death was an “apparent suicide,” according to the Post-Dispatch.

The newspaper reported that over the course of several conversations in the days leading up to Schweich’s death, he told the paper’s editorial page editor, Tony Messenger, that John Hancock, the state GOP chairman, had been telling people that Schweich was Jewish

Schweich was not Jewish and attended an Episcopal church, according to the Post-Dispatch.

He reportedly told Messenger grandfather was Jewish and he was “very proud of his connection to the Jewish faith.”

Schweich also told Messenger that he believed Hancock was carrying out the whisper campaign to handicap him among evangelical Christian voters in the Republican gubernatorial primary, according to the report. The gubernatorial candidate had arranged an interview with Post-Dispatch and Associated Press reporters hours before his death to discuss Hancock’s misinformation.

The GOP chairman was asked about the allegations of anti-Semitism by the Post-Dispatch and denied them repeatedly.

“He told me he was aware I had made anti-Semitic remarks and I told him it was not true,” Hancock told the newspaper of a conversation he had with Schweich in November.

The GOP chairman told the Associated Press that he had believed Schweich was Jewish, though, and for that reason admitted it was possible that he may have told someone Schweich was Jewish.

“I don’t have a specific recollection of having said that, but it’s plausible that I would have told somebody that Tom was Jewish because I thought he was, but I wouldn’t have said it in a derogatory or demeaning fashion,” Hancock told the AP.

Hancock also told the Post-Dispatch that he’d heard Schweich would hold a news conference this week to publicly accuse him of making an anti-Semitic remark to a specific person. That news conference never took place.

“This whole thing doesn’t make any sense,” Hancock told the Post-Dispatch. “Three months of allegations about me that are not true don’t make any sense. Suicide doesn’t make any sense. It is a tragedy.”

This post has been updated.

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  1. A Jewish auditor? Whodathunk that teh Jews were good with money matters? /snark

  2. There has to be more to this than meets the eye. Was the guy that insecure regarding his background (familial heritage) to give in–in the most complete way possible–to a possible smeary whisper campaign? I understand that it is possible that such tactics might work with the majority of socially very conservative Republican voters who truly believe Jewish folks are headed to Hell, but I fail to see how claiming (obviously wrongly) the man is Jewish is something to push him over such an edge. Suicide, possible. Murder, yes, possible. Or the man has a much deeper, darker closet than others knew.

  3. Sad news, but I have to say that if he viewed Jewish heritage as a disqualifier in Republican politics, then that say a lot about Missouri Republican politics.

    Also - no election is worth your sanity or your life.

  4. Hancock, who probably did* make anti-semitic remarks, now gets to play the victim card.

    *I say “probably did” not because i have any knowledge of Hancock or Missouri republican party goings-on. But when a republican says something, history tells me that the opposite is more likely the truth.

  5. I thought that the GOTP and Faux Noise are totally behind the Jewish people and the state of Israel?

    I guess that underneath it all, the Teahadists are antisemitic and racist. Watch out Piyush Jindal and Nimrata Randhawa.

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