Eric Greitens signs bill scrapping union requirements with Scott Walker looking on

Gov. Eric Greitens on Tuesday signed legislation banning local governments from giving preferential treatment to union contractors on public construction projects. And sharing the stage with him when he signed it was Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

Walker, who was in St. Louis for a fundraiser as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, rose to national prominence after a series of fights with labor unions in Wisconsin and surviving a recall attempt in 2012. He was seen as a strong candidate for president in 2016, but he faded quickly in the crowded Republican field and dropped out months before states began holding primaries.

Greitens is widely considered to be eying a possible run for president one day, and Walker’s presence in St. Louis has rekindled chatter among Missouri politicos that he’s already begun courting an audience beyond Missouri.

“I don’t think there’s any other way you can sort of characterize this,” said Peverill Squire, a political scientist at the University of Missouri. “And I think that again it speaks to the governor’s potential ambitions.”

Squire called Greitens’ decision to bring in a governor from another state “very unusual” and said it probably has more to do with “marketing than governing.”

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