Businessman May Take on Kinder in GOP Race for Governor
ST. LOUIS–(KMOX)–Peter Kinder may soon have another Republican nipping at his heels in the GOP primary for Governor.
Businessman Dave Spence, the President and CEO of Alpha Packaging, in St. Louis County, says he is “strongly considering” a run for governor — whether or
not Kinder runs.
“A businessman and somebody from the outside who is not part of the system might have a better chance of getting something done in Jefferson City than the same formula that keeps regurgitating itself,” Spence said.
Spence, 53, says he and his wife of 21 years have four children, ages 20 to 14. The company, which specializes in the making plastic bottles and jars, was started when Spence was 26 years old. It now boasts 775 employees in seven locations across the country.
Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder is expected to announce his candidacy for Governor soon — perhaps as soon as next week. Kinder has been wounded but still trotting forward, after his past visits to see a strip club dancer made headlines in late summer. Since the story broke Kinder received the endorsement of former U-S Senator Jack Danforth and he has continued to raise money.
Kinder has already raised more than $1.6 million and Governor Jay Nixon has raised some $3 million. Spence says he is “not intimidated” by the prospect of fundraising.
“I’m willing to self-fund part of it to at least be credible,” Spence said, “and then from there I am convinced I can raise the money. I think the business community would respond en masse. I’ve already raised verbally some money from about five phone calls that told me that people believe I can do the job.”
Spence says he will make a final decision on whether to run in about 60 days.
In earlier reports, Spence had made his possible candidacy contingent on Kinder dropping out. But he now tells KMOX he might even run against Kinder.
So far, the only declared Republican candidate for Governor in Missouri is Kansas City attorney Bill Randles. The Harvard Law School graduate and Baptist minister has practiced law for 20 years in St. Louis and Kansas City, but has never held elective office. He’s been campaigning around the state for months.
If the GOP primary becomes a three-way race between a Lt. Governor, a businessman and a Baptist minister, voters could make their choice based on a variety of factors that could make the contest harder to predict.