WASHINGTON — Two candidates move forward in the highly contested race for the upcoming Missouri U.S. Senate seat. Republican Eric Schmitt and Democrat Trudy Busch Valentine both scored primary election victories Tuesday for their respective parties.

Schmitt and Valentine, as well as independent, Libertarian and Constitution candidates, are running to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt. The winner of the Nov. 8 general election will join Josh Hawley as Missouri’s second United States senator.

One day after the primary election, Hawley made his support for his fellow Republican clear.

“I absolutely endorse him,” Hawley told KTVI about Schmitt. “I talked to him last night and congratulated him on his win. He is going to be a great candidate for us this fall. I told him last night that I support him and of course do anything I could to help him.”

The remarks come several months after Hawley announced he would endorse Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate.

Schmitt won in a crowded field of 21 GOP candidates with 45% of the vote. Hartzler was the next closest with 22% of the vote, while former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens finished third with roughly 19% of votes.

Schmitt shared the following statement with KTVI on Hawley’s endorsement:

“I appreciate Senator Hawley’s support and look forward to campaigning with him in the fall.”

No additional U.S. Senate endorsements have yet been announced for Trudy Busch Valentine or Independent candidate John Wood since the Missouri primary election.