Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Kinder Secures Bid to Take on Montee; Schoeller Likely Kander Foe for Secretary of State, Other Matchups: Spence-Nixon, Martin- Koster

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Kinder Secures Bid to Take on Montee; Schoeller Likely Kander Foe for Secretary of State, Other Matchups: Spence-Nixon, Martin- Koster

Article excerpt

ELECTIONS 2012 - LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR

Missouri's Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder fended off his GOP rival, state Sen. Brad Lager, and will face former state Auditor Susan Montee as he attempts to win a rare third term in November.

The Kinder-Lager battle was one of the most contentious primary races this year, but Kinder was projected to win his party's nomination and there were few surprises in statewide races Tuesday.

St. Louis businessman Dave Spence won the GOP nomination for governor and will face Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon in November. Ed Martin of St. Louis won the Republican nomination for attorney general. He will face incumbent Chris Koster.

In the lieutenant governor's race, Lager became Kinder's biggest hurdle after several other prominent Republicans opted not to run. He repeatedly outdid Kinder on fundraising, and according to the most recent campaign finance reports, had bested Kinder's cash on hand.

The candidates each had negative campaign ads leading up to primary day. Lager, 37, tried to highlight the controversies that eventually led Kinder, a Cape Girardeau, Mo., native, to announce that he would not run for governor this year. The ads rehashed reports from last year that Kinder repaid the state $54,000 in travel expenses and had a past relationship with a stripper.

Meanwhile, Kinder's campaign pointed out Lager's ties to Kansas City-based Cerner Corp., claiming that he had benefited from the federal health care overhaul that is unpopular among most Republicans.

Kinder, 58, was first elected lieutenant governor in 2004. If he wins in November, he will become only the second person in Missouri history to hold the office for three terms.

Rather than hosting a big victory party, Kinder watched the results with about a dozen friends at the Drury Inn in Creve Coeur.

In a pre-election interview with the Post-Dispatch, Kinder said he has been proud of his record and wants to continue to be an advocate for older Missourians and veterans.

"This is a responsibility I have enjoyed and have embraced," he said. "It's a job where I believe I can make a contribution to our state and I believe I have offered a contribution. …

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