GOP candidate Schmitt a no-show at Senate debate in Missouri

LAKE OZARK, Mo. (AP) — Missouri U.S. Senate candidate Trudy Busch Valentine called for compassion for immigrants, criticized the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade

and pressed the need to address climate change during a candidate forum before a gathering of journalists on Friday — one notable for the absence of the race's clear

frontrunner. Valentine, a Democrat, spoke in Lake Ozark at the forum sponsored by the Missouri Press Association. She was joined by Constitution Party candidate Paul Venable

and Libertarian Jonathan Dine, but not Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt. Valentine, 65, is a philanthropist and a retired nurse. She's also the daughter of August

“Gussie” Busch Jr., the longtime chairman and CEO of Anheuser-Busch who built the family business into the world's largest brewery. Gussie Busch died in 1989 and the brewery was

sold to InBev in 2008. Schmitt has, in news releases, referred to Valentine as “the heiress" and made digs at her family's wealth. Valentine didn't back away from it

Friday. “I grew up in a family that lived the American dream, and I am so grateful to my parents for so many reasons, but especially because they taught me that to whom much

is given, much is expected," Valentine said. "And that’s what my life has been about.” Valentine was a late entry into the Democratic primary but narrowly defeated Marine

veteran Lucas Kunce last month. Her overriding message is a pledge to push aside partisanship and bring decency to the office.