Eric Greitens is set to become the first Jewish governor of Missouri. Oh ya, and he’s a Sabbath observer too.
The Republican won election on the same day that Donald Trump won election as President of the United States. Greitens is set to assume the oath of office on January 9, 2017.
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“Our team is hard at work preparing to hit the ground running on January 9th when we officially take office. I wanted to take a moment today to make sure that you save that date so you can join us for our inaugural ceremonies, ” Eric Greitens said in a statement.
Once in office, Greitens intends to push through right to work legislation. Such laws guarantee that individuals can never be forced to join a union against their will. Union shops, as they are known, are places where a union represents at least one part of a certain business’ workforce and all of said employees, such as the people who work in a grocery store or a factory, are required to join a union. Supporters of such laws say that these requirements infringe on a person’s freedom of choice. Their detractors argue, however, that these laws are merely intended to help big business break unions.
According to a report in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, such new legislation is already being introduced in the Missouri Legislature. While Greitens’ predecessor block these types of laws from being enacted, he promised to support them once in office.
So who exactly is Eric Greitens? The 42 year old is a former Rhodes scholar, a former Democrat and a former Navy Seal who won the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star during his service in Iraq between 2003 and 2007. He is also the founder of The Mission Continues, a nonprofit which helps veterans re-integrate into their home environments after returning from conflict zones.
Greitens is also the author of four books and is married with two young children.
He grew up in a Reform Jewish home. Greitens explained to JTA why he became a Sabbath Observer saying, “Just seven months ago my first child Joshua was born, and I think for a lot of people, when you have a child, it makes you think about your Judaism. [My wife] Sheena and I try every weekend to observe the Sabbath. We’re not perfect at it, but we really try.”
The following is Eric Greitens’ official bio from his Facebook page:
Eric Greitens is a husband and father who believes that with the right leadership, Missouri’s best days are yet to come. He is running for Governor because career politicians and special interests are taking our state in the wrong direction. As a conservative outsider and former Navy SEAL, Eric is on a mission to turn Missouri around.,
A combat veteran, Eric served four tours of duty overseas, including in Afghanistan and Iraq. After coming home, he founded The Mission Continues, a Missouri-based non-profit that helps returning veterans get back on their feet and give back to their communities. In 2014, Fortune Magazine named Eric one of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.”
Born and raised in Missouri, Eric attended Missouri public schools, earned a scholarship to college, and went on to become a Rhodes Scholar. He has a black belt in Taekwondo and is an author, marathon runner, and boxing champion.