John Brunner

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John Brunner
Mark Brunner.jpg
Candidate for
U.S. Senate, Missouri
Bachelor'sHarding University
Master'sJohn M. Olin School of Business, Washington University in St. Louis
Military service
Service/branchUnited States Marine Corps
Campaign website
John Brunner was a 2012 Republican candidate who sought election to the U.S. Senate from Missouri. Brunner was defeated by Todd Akin in the Republican primary on August 7, 2012.[1]
John Brunner for Senate campaign logo.


John G. Brunner is the third generation of the Brunner family to lead Vi-Jon, a private-label personal care products manufacturing company. Volunteering for duty upon graduation from Harding University, Brunner served as an infantry officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, ending as a Captain. He earned his MBA from Washington University in St. Louis. He has served as a member of the board of deacons at his church, and has aided world-wide mission and relief organizations.[2]


Campaign themes


On his campaign website, Brunner lists ten issues. They are:[3]

  • Jobs & Economy
  • Brunner says that his plan is to, "eliminate bureaucratic regulations which strangle our job creators and reduce the tax burden on businesses and family farms." He proposes to roll back regulations by, "requiring an economic impact study of all current and newly proposed federal regulations followed by annual reviews," and, "sunsetting of all federal regulations unless specifically sustained by an up or down vote of Congress."
  • Spending & Debt
  • Brunner says that he wants to "stop reckless spending and debt by: cutting one cent of every dollar from all federal spending each year for six straight years to balance the budget by 2019, establishing a maximum cap on federal spending of 18% of GDP, passing a Constitutional amendment that requires a balanced federal budget, permanently banning earmarks and pork barrel spending, and establishing a requirement to stop paying the salaries of Members of Congress unless they pass a budget."
  • Taxes
  • Brunner says, "I pledge to oppose any attempts to raise taxes on the American people." He also says, "Our citizens need tax relief and tax certainty. I want to reform the US tax code to produce a smaller, flatter tax rate for everyone."
  • Earmarks
  • Brunner says, "I support the complete and permanent elimination of the corrupt practice of earmarks. Part of the spending discipline needed in Washington is an elimination of earmarks. Under the cover of darkness, politicians of both parties have squandered away our tax dollars on some of the most ridiculous and wasteful special interest projects imaginable. Lobster Institutes, Iowa Rain Forests, Bridges to Nowhere, and thousands of other wasteful projects representing tens of billions of dollars of our hard-earned money on things the American people never asked for nor wanted. A project that can’t stand on its own merits ought not be funded. Furthermore, I pledge that I will never seek an earmark in any bill."
  • Defense
  • Brunner says, "Our all volunteer fighting force deserves the finest equipment, technology, training, and medical care, and I will always vote to give our brave men and women all the resources they need."
  • Agriculture
  • Brunner says, "As someone who ran a business and created jobs, I understand how regulation, or the threat of regulation, can directly impact the bottom line. In this uncertain and onerous regulatory environment, Missouri farmers and ranchers cannot grow their operations and the cost of production is skyrocketing. [...] As Missouri’s next Senator, I will be an advocate for production agriculture and re-inject commonsense into agriculture policy."
  • Life
  • Brunner says, "I am 100% pro-life and believe that life is providentially determined; to be cherished, valued, respected, and defended. [...] Nothing is more precious than human life. Our founders declared that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights among which are, “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. And likewise, I am committed to those very same principles."
  • Constitution
  • Brunner says, "I support a strict constructionist interpretation of our Constitution. Much of what has gone wrong in recent years can be laid to a fundamental disagreement about the proper role of government as outlined in Constitution. I believe our Founders left us the best framework for self-government in human history. I pledge to support judicial nominees who will interpret law as it is written, not as they want it to be, and I will oppose any judicial nominees who will attempt to use their position to legislate a liberal agenda."
  • Immigration
  • Brunner says, "I support providing our men and women at the border with all the resources necessary to secure the border and stop the flow of illegal immigrants, and opposing any forms of amnesty that reward people for breaking the law. The American Dream has long inspired people from every corner of the globe to seek the unique and bountiful opportunities offered in our great nation. I fully support legal immigration. Immigrants who want to work hard, obey our laws, and live the American Dream have always been a great asset. For those who have abused America’s openness, however, strong and immediate action must be taken. I also support the right of states to pass legislation they deem appropriate to enforce immigration laws where the federal government has failed. I will oppose any effort to grant amnesty to those illegal immigrants that have broken the law. At the same time, our legal immigrants should be protected by streamlining the application process."
  • Term Limits
  • Brunner says, "I pledge that I will serve no more than two terms in the United States Senate. Our Founders envisioned a nation where people from various walks of life would come to serve for a time, provide their service to their country, and then go home and return to private life. Unfortunately, over the years, a class of career politicians has emerged that has placed their own political preservation ahead of the interests of the nation they are supposed to serve. This has had a corrosive influence on our government that has led to the practice of pork-barrel spending and unwillingness to make tough decisions. I support term limits for the US Congress because I believe it is the only way to rid our government of career politicians once and for all and return our government to the people to whom it belongs. And I intend to lead by example."[3]



See also: United States Senate elections in Missouri, 2012

Brunner ran in the 2012 election for the U.S. Senate, representing Missouri.[4] Brunner ran against Rep. Todd Akin, Sarah Steelman, Jerry Beck, Mark Memoly, Robert Poole, Hector Maldonado and Mark Lodes in the August 7, 2012, Republican primary. He was defeated by Todd Akin.[5]

The University of Virginia's Center for Politics published an article called Sabato's Crystal Ball on March 22, 2012, detailing the eight races in the Senate in 2012 that will decide the political fate of which party will end up with control in 2013.[6] The seat rated a toss-up that the Sabato's Crystal Ball believes is 3rd most likely to end up Republican is the Senate seat in Missouri. The article notes incumbent freshman senator Claire McCaskill (D) is vulnerable in the Republican leaning state.[6] While it still remains a toss up as to who McCaskill's competitor will end up being in the general election, challengers U.S. Representative Todd Akin, former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman and businessman Brunner all present a significant challenge to the vulnerable incumbent.

The primary took place on August 7, 2012.[7]

US Senate, Missouri Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngTodd Akin 36% 217,468
John G. Brunner 30% 180,821
Sarah Steelman 29.2% 176,189
Jerry Beck 1.6% 9,791
Hector Maldonado 1.2% 7,412
Robert (Bob) Poole 1% 6,097
Mark Memoly 0.5% 3,200
Mark Patrick Lodes 0.4% 2,282
Total Votes 603,260

Campaign donors


Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2012 elections season. Below are Brunner's reports.[8]

John Brunner(2012) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[9]March 31, 2012$209,248.51$1,375,066.12$(1,359,141.06)$225,173.57
Running totals


Brunner has been married to his wife, Jan, for 35 years. They have three children and six grandchildren.[10]

See also

External links

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