Steve Bannon, a former advisor to President Trump, is trying to blackball Missouri political operative Jeff Roe, according to CNN.
Roe runs a political consulting firm, Axiom Strategies, based in Kansas City, Mo. Though he is best known nationwide for his efforts on the Ted Cruz presidential campaign, Roe got his start working on campaigns in Missouri. He got his start running then-state Rep. Sam Graves’ race for the Missouri Senate in 1994. Axiom Strategies now boasts seven offices nationwide.
According to CNN, Bannon believes Roe is responsible for dirty tactics in an Alabama Republican primary for U.S. Senate. Axiom Strategies worked with Luther Strange, the incumbent, in the race. Strange was defeated by a Bannon-backed candidate Judge Roy Moore.
A number of Kansas and Missouri candidates, including Congressman Kevin Yoder, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, and the leadership of the Kansas House and the Kansas Senate, contract with Axiom for campaign consultation, and Roe was the subject of mild controversy during the Kansas Republican primary in the First Congressional District. That race pitted Congressman Roger Marshall, who worked with Roe, against incumbent Tim Huelskamp. Huelskamp agreed to endorse Presidential candidate Ted Cruz in exchange for an agreement that Roe and Axiom would not work against Huelskamp in 2016. Roe and Axiom reneged on the agreement, according to Politico.
Roe has been blamed for “damaging opponents’ lives and reputations, and even for contributing to a gubernatorial candidate’s suicide,” as the New Republic put it. Tom Schweich’s January 2015 suicide in the midst of his gubernatorial campaign for Missouri Governor prompted Rolling Stone Magazine to ask, “Did a Vicious Campaign Drive a Candidate to Suicide?”
Axiom Strategies worked on behalf of 52 members of the U.S. Congress, but potential candidates working with Roe will not receive assistance from Bannon, according to CNN. Roe didn’t comment for the CNN story.