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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The national Republican party will begin spending money to support Josh Hawley in his race for the U.S. Senate even though 10 other GOP candidates are running for the nomination.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the Missouri Republican Party this week gave the national organization permission to help fund Hawley's campaign before the Aug. 7 primary.

Party spokesman Chris Nuelle, noting that President Donald Trump has endorsed Hawley, says the party made a similar decision in races in 2006 and 2010.

Hawley's campaign said in a statement that Republicans failed to defeat Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill in 2012 because it didn't unite and choose a good candidate. McCaskill, who is running for re-election, defeated Republican Todd Akin in 2012.

Austin Petersen, another GOP candidate, called the decision an attempt to disenfranchise Missouri voters.

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