Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Peter Kinder Will Seek Missouri Governor's Office in 2016

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Peter Kinder Will Seek Missouri Governor's Office in 2016

Article excerpt

DELLWOOD * The riot-scarred stretch of West Florissant Avenue isn't a typical place where Republicans announce for higher office. The streets and storefronts of Dellwood and Ferguson, rocked over the last year by racial unrest, have long been solid Democratic territory.

But Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder stood on the parking lot of the New York Grill here on Sunday and declared a bid to be the next governor, hammering home a theme that the events last year in the north St. Louis County communities represent a "metaphor for government failure."

"I want to welcome you to a Republican campaign like no other," Kinder said.

Kinder was joined by Republicans and Democrats along with some familiar faces from the Ferguson unrest.

Before Kinder spoke, Ferguson Mayor James Knowles addressed the crowd people who waited on a sticky afternoon with temperatures in the 90s. Knowles said Kinder would free the state from failed leadership that "started long before last August and November."

Tony Thompson, a well-known Democrat and businessman, introduced Kinder, saying: "He has been fair to the urban centers throughout the state of Missouri."

Kinder, of Cape Girardeau, was a vocal critic of Gov. Jay Nixon throughout the unrest. In August, within days of the shooting death of Michael Brown, Kinder slammed Nixon, a Democrat, for what he called a slow response to the resulting riots.

And after St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch announced that Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson would not be charged for Brown's death, Kinder blasted Nixon, saying he kept the National Guard away "while Ferguson burned."

On Sunday, Kinder kept repeating the words "never again," saying he won't allow another Ferguson if he's elected to run the state.

Nixon is term-limited from running for re-election. Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is the only announced Democrat in the gubernatorial race.

Kinder touched on a variety of other issues, including education and crime, saying statewide officials have stood back as the St. Louis crime rate spiked 40 percent this year. He said he plans to make Missouri competitive again "so that people want to move here, stay here and create jobs. …

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