Brunner Wins Pork Endorsement In Mo. Senate Race

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ St. Louis businessman John Brunner has won the endorsement of the Missouri Pork Association in the Republican U.S. Senate primary.

The pork association said Thursday’s announcement marks the first time it has ever endorsed a candidate in a contested primary. The group’s executive vice president, Don Nikodim, cited Brunner’s background in business as one reason for the endorsement.

The announcement comes as Republican rival Sarah Steelman has questioned Brunner’s commitment to agriculture by highlighting a donation from a Brunner family foundation to a charity that Steelman’s campaign describes as a “radical animal rights group.”

Brunner has said the donation was made by one of his children, and he doesn’t support the group. Congressman Todd Akin also is seeking the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)