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Nixon Tops Spence In Gubernatorial Race

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Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (R) receives a hug from supporter Nick Robinson before delivering his victory speech during a watch partyat the Pageant Theater in St. Louis on November 6, 2012.  UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (R) receives a hug from supporter Nick Robinson before delivering his victory speech during a watch partyat the Pageant Theater in St. Louis on November 6, 2012. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Election Returns

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Missouri Democratic governor Jay Nixon has been reelected after defeating Alpha Packaging CEO and first-time political candidate Dave Spence.

Spence, a Republican, touted his lack of political experience from the beginning, often attempting to paint the governor as being a political insider and “tool of special interests.”

The race focused almost entirely on economic issues with each candidate claiming to be the better man to lead the Missouri economy. The two gathered for only one debate.

In TV ads, Nixon cited Missouri’s low unemployment rate compared to many neighboring states. In his ads, Spence made reference to boarded up businesses and said many people have simply given up trying to find work.

The candidates often agreed on controversial topics such as a proposal to give the governor’s office more power through a ballot measure.

Entering the final stretch of the race, financial reports showed Nixon with a clear fundraising advantage over his Republican challenger.

The Democratic governor had $4.9 million in his campaign account at the start of October, compared with $1.5 million for Spence.

The latest Public Policy Poll showed Nixon with a clear advantage, albeit a much smaller lead than what he enjoyed for much of the race.

Polling director Tom Jensen said Sunday that Spence had whittled down Nixon’s lead to eight points from as much as twenty.

Nixon, a former Missouri attorney general, was elected to his second term as governor.

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