St. Louis Public Radio News
6:54 am
Fri June 13, 2008

Hulshof, Nixon & Steelman participate in candidate forum

Jefferson City, MO – All three major candidates for Missouri governor took part in a forum today at the Lake of the Ozarks.

The forum was divided into two segments: The first featured a face-to-face meeting between Republican contenders Kenny Hulshof and Sarah Steelman.

Steelman contended that Hulshof's support of earmarks in Congress would make him a poor leader in Jefferson City.

"That has a very definite impact on how you're going to run a state economy, where you have to make choices and decide what's right and what's wrong, and what should go in a budget and what shouldn't," Steelman said.

Hulshof, though, told reporters at the forum that he was a fiscal conservative, and he defended his voting record.

"(I teamed) up with (Mo. Democratic Congressman) Ike Skelton for, yes, an earmark, a line item appropriation for multi-jurisdictional task forces that are working here in the Lake (of the Ozarks) area...(another earmark helped) our troops in the field in Iraq with hand-held bio-sensors that can detect hazardous materials in the atmosphere that happens to be made by a Missouri company," Hulshof said.

The second half of the forum featured the lone Democratic candidate for Governor, Jay Nixon, taking questions from reporters.

"We can either continue down the same road with many of the same failed policies, or we can begin the process of taking our state in a new direction...both of my Republican opponents have embraced Governor Blunt and his agenda," Nixon said.

Nixon indicated that he would support targeted tax relief if elected governor.

He also said he would favor MOHELA returning to its original mission of providing low-cost loans for college students, instead of being used to fund college building construction.

Nixon stopped short, though, of saying he would pursue reversing the MOHELA bill passed last year.