Eric Schmitt

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Eric Schmitt
43rd Missouri Attorney General
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
GovernorMike Parson
Preceded byJosh Hawley
46th Treasurer of Missouri
In office
January 9, 2017 – January 3, 2019
GovernorEric Greitens
Mike Parson
Preceded byClint Zweifel
Succeeded byScott Fitzpatrick
Member of the Missouri Senate
from the 15th district
In office
January 7, 2009 – January 4, 2017
Preceded byMichael R. Gibbons
Succeeded byAndrew Koenig
Member of the Glendale City Council
from Ward 3
In office
Preceded byRichard Magee[1]
Succeeded byDan Sullivan[2]
Personal details
Born (1975-06-20) June 20, 1975 (age 44)
Bridgeton, Missouri, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Jaime Schmitt
EducationTruman State University (BA)
Saint Louis University (JD)
WebsiteGovernment website

Eric S. Schmitt (born June 20, 1975) is an American politician who has been serving as the 43rd Attorney General of Missouri since 2019. He previously served as the 46th State Treasurer of Missouri from 2017 to 2019. Before that, he was a member of the Missouri Senate, representing Missouri's 15th State Senate District from 2009 to 2017. He had also previously served as an alderman for Glendale, Missouri from 2005 to 2008, where he was one of two aldermen for Ward 3.[3] On November 13, 2018, Schmitt was named Attorney General of Missouri by Governor Mike Parson, after the incumbent, Josh Hawley, was elected to the United States Senate.[4][5]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Bridgeton, Missouri, Schmitt is a sixth-generation Missourian and a lifelong resident of St. Louis County.[6]

Schmitt graduated from DeSmet Jesuit High School in 1993 and from Truman State University in 1997, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts cum laude in political science. At Truman, Schmitt was a member of the Alpha Kappa Lambda fraternity, played football and baseball, and was a founding member of Truman's Habitat for Humanity chapter. He received a scholarship to attend Saint Louis University School of Law, where he earned his Juris Doctor in 2000.[7] Schmitt was an editor of the law review and published an article analyzing the Supreme Court decision in Clinton v. New York.[8]

Schmitt lives in Glendale and attends Mary, Queen of Peace Catholic Church with his wife, Jaime, and their three children, Stephen, Sophia and Olivia.[9] He is currently an adjunct professor in the Department of Philosophy at Saint Louis University.[10]

Legal career[edit]

Schmitt was admitted to the Missouri bar in 2000. He was a partner at the firm Lathrop & Gage, LLP, in Clayton, Missouri, where he focused on land use, real estate, business disputes, and administrative appeals. In his community, he has been an active member for the boards of DeSmet Jesuit High School, Nurses for Newborns Foundation, St. Louis Crisis Nursery, and a Parents as Teachers Program. He had previously been elected chairman of the Young Lawyer Section Council of the Missouri Bar, led a statewide Giving Tree effort to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, and created a Special Needs Advocacy Task Force. He has also been involved with the TS (Tuberous Sclerosis) Alliance, the Gateway Chapter of the Autism Society of America, Habitat for Humanity, and local Chambers of Commerce.[11]

State Senate (2009–2017)[edit]

Schmitt served as an alderman for Glendale, Missouri, from 2005 to 2008. On November 4, 2008, Schmitt was elected to the Missouri Senate. When sworn in, Schmitt became one of the youngest members ever to serve in the state's upper chamber. He represented Missouri's 15th State Senate district, which includes parts of central and western St. Louis County.[12] Following the 2010 census, Schmitt's district was redrawn, although it is still centered around central St. Louis County. On February 28, 2012, Schmitt filed for reelection in the 15th district. He ran unopposed in both the primary and general elections in 2012.[13]

Schmitt served in Senate Leadership as Majority Caucus Chairman and was Chairman of the Jobs, Economic Development and Local Government Committee. He also served on the Committee on Gubernatorial Appointments; the Committee on Judicial, Civil, and Criminal Jurisprudence; Veterans’ Affairs and Health Committee; and Chaired the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules.[14]

In addition, Schmitt worked to enact the federal ABLE Act, to provide 529 savings account opportunities to families with children with special needs, to cover their future costs and allow them to be more financially independent and self-sufficient. The Missouri ABLE program allows anyone to make a tax-deductible contribution of up to $8,000 for an individual or $16,000 for married couples to another person's ABLE account.[15] The bill sponsored by Schmitt was signed by the Governor in 2015.[16]

In 2016, Schmitt sponsored a bill (S.B. 572) that set a limit on the percent of revenue that Missouri local governments could obtain from non-traffic fines (such as fines for violation of city ordinances). Existing state law had set a revenue limit on the percent of revenue that municipalities could obtain from traffic fines The bill passed the state Senate in a 25-6 vote in January 2016.[17]

Schmitt also co-sponsored legislation "to bar cities, counties and law-enforcement agencies from setting traffic-ticket quotas"; this bill unanimously passed the state Senate in February 2016. Schmitt co-sponsored the bill with Democratic Sen. Jamilah Nasheed; the legislation aimed to respond "to criticism some communities have been too reliant on raising money from issuing these and other types of citations."[18]

2016 election for State Treasurer[edit]

Schmitt did not run for re-election to the Missouri State Senate in 2016 because he was term-limited. Instead, Schmitt filed to run for Treasurer of Missouri in the 2016 elections.[19] Schmitt ran as a Republican and was unopposed in the Republican primary.[20] He defeated opponents Democrat Judy Baker and Libertarian Sean O'Toole in the general election.[21]

Missouri State Treasurer (2017–2019)[edit]

As State Treasurer, Schmitt oversaw the state's $3.6 billion investment portfolio as its Chief Financial Officer and also managed a number of different programs and initiatives.

Missouri Economic Dashboard[edit]

The Missouri State Treasurer's Office developed a dashboard that shows economic data and trends, including unemployment, GDP, exports, housing starts, and other indicators.[22]

Unclaimed property[edit]

Schmitt returned more unclaimed property in his first year than any previous treasurer in Missouri history. Treasurer Schmitt returned $45 million in unclaimed property during his first year in office, surpassing the previous record of $29 million.

Most unclaimed property consists of cash from bank accounts, stocks, bonds and contents of safe deposit boxes that have been abandoned.[23]

Missouri ABLE[edit]

In 2014, Congress passed the Stephen Beck Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act to allow eligible individuals with disabilities to save money while still allowing those individuals to be eligible for federal needs-based benefits. In June 2015, then-Senator Eric Schmitt passed the state legislation, making the state a leader in the ABLE movement. Missouri ABLE was launched in April 2017.

Individuals receiving support through Social Security, Medicaid and other publicly funded programs are often disqualified from that support if they have more than $2,000 worth of resources or assets. The MO ABLE program allows qualified individuals with disabilities to save up to $14,000 a year in an ABLE account without jeopardizing their eligibility for federally funded means tested benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. The funds in the account can be used for disability-related expenses that assist the beneficiary in increasing and/or maintaining his or her health, independence or quality of life.

Missouri residents who contribute to a MO ABLE account may deduct up to $8,000 (single) or $16,000 (joint) on the state income tax deduction.[24]

Missouri FIRST[edit]

Schmitt launched the Missouri FIRST initiative in March 2018. Missouri FIRST (Financing Investment in our Rural, Small Business and Technology communities) was aimed at allowing Schmitt to invest more in Main Street Missouri by revamping the state's linked deposit program, which partners with local lenders to provide low-interest financing to small business and agricultural operations. The changes implemented through Missouri FIRST focused on cutting red tape, expanding access and modernizing the linked deposit system.[25]

MOST 529[edit]

As State Treasurer, Schmitt administered MOST 529, a tax-advantaged program that empowers Missouri families to save for a child's K-12 tuition and other qualified higher education expenses. Missourians who contribute to MOST 529 accounts are eligible for a tax deduction of up to $8,000 or $16,000 if married and filing jointly. Earnings in 529 accounts are also not subject to federal income tax, so long as funds are spent on qualified expenses.[26]

Prior to the passage of federal tax reform in December 2017, MOST 529 plans were limited to higher education expenses. Included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 was language that allowed states to expand their programs to K-12 tuition, which Schmitt implemented in Missouri.[27]

Missouri Attorney General[edit]

Schmitt was appointed to the office of Attorney General of Missouri by Governor Mike Parson to succeed Josh Hawley, who was elected to the United States Senate in 2018. Schmitt took office in January 2019.

First Amendment[edit]

In August 2019, Schmitt withdrew a legal brief that argued that the First Amendment allowed government officials to withhold records from a Sunshine Law request, following criticism from transparency advocates who noted that the brief did not cite any case law.[28] A Freedom Center of Missouri representative raised concern that the argument is similar to a case involving governor Mike Parson, which Schmitt had not yet ruled on.[29]

LGBTQ stances[edit]

Schmitt is among 14 attorney general signatories on a Supreme Court brief stating that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not protect LGBTQ people from employment discrimination.[30] As state legislator, he was absent in the 2013 failed vote to pass the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act, and supported a 2016 failed measure to protect businesses that oppose same-sex marriages for religious reasons.[31]

Religious freedom[edit]

In 2019, Schmitt spoke in defense of a Missouri high school coach who was being attacked by the Freedom From Religion Foundation. The foundation accused the football coach of violating the U.S. Constitution by leading students in prayer before and after games. In a letter, Schmitt said he would support the coach, school, and school district in a lawsuit if necessary and noted no one was forcing students and players to participate in prayer in public spaces.[32][33]

Prosecution of Antonio Muldrew[edit]

In January 2020, Schmitt successfully prosecuted a murder case in the City of St. Louis.  The jury returned a quick verdict finding Antonio Muldrew guilty of first-degree murder for shooting and killing Ethiopian refugee Abdulrauf Kadir at a convenient store in 2014. This was the first time a Missouri attorney general prosecuted a murder case in the City of St. Louis.[34][35]

Electoral history[edit]

2008 Missouri State Senate - District 15[36]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Eric Schmitt 51,366 54.7
Democratic James Trout 42,469 45.3
2012 Missouri State Senate - District 15[37]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Eric Schmitt 77,745 100 +45.3
Missouri Treasurer Election 2016[38]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Eric Schmitt 1,545,582 56.447% Winner
Democratic Judy Baker 1,078,063 39.372%
Libertarian Sean O'Toole 78,543 2.868%
Green Carol Hexem 66,490 1.312%


  1. ^ "Mayor & Board". City of Glendale, Missouri. Archived from the original on February 5, 2005. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  2. ^ "Sullivan elected new alderman for Ward III" (PDF). Glendale Guide. City of Glendale, Missouri. Summer 2008. p. 1. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  3. ^ "Eric Schmitt sworn in as Missouri's 43rd Attorney General". Webster County Citizen. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  4. ^ Suntrup, Jack (November 13, 2018). "State Treasurer Eric Schmitt to become Missouri AG after Hawley elected to Senate". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  5. ^ King, Samuel (November 13, 2018). "Missouri's Next Attorney General Will Be State Treasurer Eric Schmitt". KCUR-FM. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  6. ^ "Meet Eric Schmitt - Eric Schmitt". Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  7. ^ "Senator Eric Schmitt". Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  8. ^ Schmitt, Eric S. (Winter 2000). "There Is No Joy in D.C., The Mighty Court Struck Out: An Analysis of Clinton v. City of New York, The Line Item Veto Act and the Court's Failure to Uphold Constitutionally Legitimate Means to a Viable End". St. Louis University Law Journal. 44: 167.
  9. ^ "Meet Eric Schmitt - Eric Schmitt". Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  10. ^ Jost, Ashley. "Missouri treasurer picks up a class at SLU — as the teacher". Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  11. ^ Franklin, Danielle Mae (November 13, 2018). "Lathrop Gage congratulates Schmitt being appointed Attorney General". Clayton Times. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  12. ^ "Senator Eric Schmitt". Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  13. ^ "Certified Candidate List - State Senator - District 15". Missouri Secretary of State. Retrieved June 15, 2012.
  14. ^ "Senator Eric Schmitt". Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  15. ^ "Governor signs bill allowing savings accounts for disabilities". June 30, 2015. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
  16. ^ "Missouri legislators continue autism successes with bill signature - The Missouri Times". Retrieved September 23, 2016.
  17. ^ Stuckey, Alex. "Cap on non-traffic violation revenue passed by Missouri Senate". Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  18. ^ Adam Aton (February 5, 2016). "State Senate votes to ban traffic-ticket quotas". Associated Press.
  19. ^ Group, Sinclair Broadcast. "Schmitt running for MO treasurer in 2016". Retrieved September 29, 2016.
  20. ^ "SOS, Missouri - Elections: Offices Filed in Candidate Filing". Retrieved September 29, 2016.
  21. ^ "State of Missouri - Election Night Results". Retrieved September 29, 2016.
  22. ^ "Missouri Treasurer's Dashboard Compares State, National Financial Metrics". Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  23. ^ "Schmitt returns $45 million of Unclaimed Property in first year as treasurer, breaking previous record". Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  24. ^ "Missouri Becomes 20th State to Launch ABLE Program | ABLE National Resource Center". Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  25. ^ "Missouri State Treasurer's Office - Missouri Linked Deposit Program". Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  26. ^ "529 basics | MOST 529". MOST—Missouri's 529 College Savings Plan. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  27. ^ "MOST—Missouri's 529 College Savings Plan | MOST 529". MOST—Missouri's 529 College Savings Plan. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  28. ^ Associated Press (August 20, 2019). "Schmitt withdraws First Amendment argument in lawsuit". Columbia Missourian. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  29. ^ Hancock, Jason (August 20, 2019). "Missouri AG Schmitt cites First Amendment to block release of public records". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  30. ^ Hancock, Jason (August 26, 2019). "Missouri attorney general says federal law doesn't ban LGBTQ discrimination". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  31. ^ Suntrup, Jack (August 26, 2019). "Missouri attorney general challenges nationwide expansion of LGBT rights by the courts". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  32. ^ "Missouri attorney general backs high school football prayer". Associated Press. December 6, 2019. Retrieved January 20, 2020.
  33. ^ Schmitt, Eric (December 3, 2019). "Letter to Cameron School District" (PDF) (Press release). Attorney General of Missouri. Retrieved January 20, 2020.
  34. ^ Faust, Vic (January 9, 2020). "Missouri attorney general obtains guilty verdict in St. Louis murder case". Fox News. Retrieved January 20, 2020.
  35. ^ Clancy, Sam (January 8, 2020). "Man accused of killing Ethiopian refugee in Dutchtown store found guilty of murder, 5 other charges". KSDK. Retrieved January 20, 2020.
  36. ^ "State Senator - District 15 - Summary". Missouri Secretary of State. Retrieved June 15, 2012.
  37. ^ "State Senator - District 15 - Summary". Missouri Secretary of State. Retrieved June 15, 2012.
  38. ^ "State of Missouri - General Election, November 08, 2016". Missouri Secretary of State. December 12, 2016. Retrieved November 13, 2018.

External links[edit]

Civic offices
Preceded by
Richard Magee
Member of the Glendale City Council
from Ward 3

Succeeded by
Dan Sullivan
Missouri Senate
Preceded by
Michael Gibbons
Member of the Missouri Senate
from the 15th district

Succeeded by
Andrew Koenig
Political offices
Preceded by
Clint Zweifel
Treasurer of Missouri
Succeeded by
Scott Fitzpatrick
Legal offices
Preceded by
Josh Hawley
Attorney General of Missouri