One of Missouri’s megadonors cuts off big money donations heading into the election
JEFFERSON CITY — After helping bankroll Republican candidates with millions of dollars in 2016, one of Missouri’s most prolific megadonors is sitting out the 2020 election.
In a statement to the Post-Dispatch, a spokeswoman for David Humphreys said the Joplin businessman is staying out of politics this year because of the toll of the coronavirus and the divisive nature of politics.
“During the pandemic and economic crisis, David’s full-time attention and resources have been focused on his business and helping his community and charities that he and his family support,” said Kim Eckerman, communications chief for TAMKO Building Products, a roofing material business that Humphreys owns.
In addition, Eckerman said Humphreys, who did not support President Donald Trump’s 2016 election, said the nation is too divided.
“He also believes that now is a time we should all come together. Accordingly, he is not allocating resources to the presidential or state political campaigns,” she said.
Humphreys’ contributions in 2016 helped bring former Gov. Eric Greitens to power, as well as then-Attorney General Josh Hawley.
During the 2016 election cycle, Humphreys and his family contributed more than $14 million to Republicans, including candidates who support anti-union “right-to-work” legislation.
He also contributed millions more to GOP candidates in other states and gave Hawley money for his successful 2018 bid for the U.S. Senate.
In 2019, however, he urged Republican Gov. Mike Parson to veto a restrictive abortion law, saying a lack of exceptions allowing for abortion in cases of rape and incest of the mother “is bad public policy and bad for Missourians.”
Parson signed the measure, which bans abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy, except when the life of the mother is threatened. There are no exceptions for rape, incest or human trafficking.
The legislation also bans a woman from aborting a fetus that might have Down syndrome. It requires both parents or guardians to be notified before minors can get an abortion, in most cases. The measure, which has been challenged in court, says anyone “who knowingly performs or induces an abortion” in cases that are not exempted by the legislation would be guilty of a Class B felony, which carries a minimum five-year prison sentence.
Humphreys also reversed his support for the scandal-plagued Greitens, urging the political newcomer to resign in April 2018, a day after a special committee of the Missouri House released a bombshell report detailing allegations of sexual coercion and blackmail.