JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Republican challenger Dave Spence is claiming that Democratic Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is “a tool of special interests.”

Spence made the accusation Monday at a Jefferson City campaign rally that originally was to feature Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. But Walker canceled, citing Sunday’s fatal shootings at a suburban Milwaukee spa.

Spence cited Nixon’s financial support from trial attorneys and labor unions while noting that Nixon has vetoed bills backed by business groups on workers’ compensation and employment discrimination laws.

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry is supporting Spence’s campaign for governor. But Spence says he doesn’t view that as a special interest, because the group represents businesses that employ people and “are paying the bills.”

© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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