Updated at 5:35 p.m. via the Associated Press, and at 5:42 with a quote from Brad Lager:
In a ripple effect from Kinder's announcement, St. Louis developer Chris McKee, who just announced his candidacy on Monday, has now announced that he is pulling out of the race for Lt. Gov. and instead will throw his support behind Kinder.
Republican state Sen. Brad Lager, of Savannah, also declared his candidacy for lieutenant governor Monday. Lager said Friday that he is still in the race but will re-evaluate that decision after he gets a chance to talk with Kinder.
“When Stephanie, my wife and I, sat down and went through this very methodical process, we made a decision that I had a passion to run for Lt. Governor," Lager said. "Nothing that happened today changes that passion.”
Updated at 5:05 p.m. via the Associated Press:
Kinder's decision could create a crowded Republican field for lieutenant governor. Earlier this week, state Sen. Brad Lager of Savannah and St. Louis businessman Chris McKee both announced their candidacies for lieutenant governor. Lager said Friday that he remains a candidate but hopes to talk to Kinder and would re-evaluate whether to stay in the race. McKee did not immediately return phone calls.
Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder says he will not run for governor and instead will support Republican businessman Dave Spence.
In a statement provided Friday to The Associated Press, Kinder said he has decided to seek a third-term as lieutenant governor in the 2012 elections.
Kinder also commented on Spence in the statement:
"I believe after numerous conversations with Dave Spence that he is the Republican Party's best chance of defeating Jay Nixon," Kinder said. "Dave is a self-made man and proven manager who understands how to create jobs and improve the state's economy. He is smart, serious and has a vision he's shared with me to renew Missouri's greatness. I am proud to call him a friend and will do everything in my power to see that he's elected governor next year."
Kinder's decision comes after months of wavering about whether to challenge Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon. Kinder had been the presumed candidate, but he delayed an official announcement in September after acknowledging that he had regularly visited a strip club when he was a state senator in the 1990s.
After re-evaluating the race, Kinder again had been making preparations to announce his gubernatorial candidacy this weekend.
But those plans changed after Spence declared on Tuesday that he is running for governor.