The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

November 5, 2012

Democratic governor, Republican challenger utilizing attack ads

By Wally Kennedy
wkennedy@joplinglobe.com

— Democrat Jeremiah “Jay” Nixon, the incumbent governor of Missouri, and his challenger, Republican Dave Spence, of St. Louis, have been using campaign attack ads in an effort to persuade Missouri voters how to vote Tuesday.

Spence has charged that Missouri is way behind its neighboring states in job creation and economic growth. Nixon counters with information that shows Missouri is ahead of — not behind — its neighboring states.

Spence, a former St. Louis plastics manufacturing executive, has put almost $1.2 million of his own money into his campaign. He had $1.5 million in the bank at the start of September.

He recently stepped down as head of Alpha Packaging, which he bought in 1985.

Nixon, who had $6.3 million on hand at the start of September, has been courting independent and Republican voters by touting spending cuts, a balanced budget and a no-tolerance policy for tax hikes.

Both Spence and Nixon defeated other candidates in their parties to win their primary contests.  

• Nixon, 56, of De Soto, is a former state senator and four-term Missouri attorney general.

• Spence, 54, of Ladue, has never held an elective office and has never been active in Missouri politics. Spence sold his plastics company in 2010 for a reported $260 million.