Dave Spence / Election 2012
11:32 am
Tue November 15, 2011

Spence to run for Missouri governor

Will be updated.

St. Louis businessman Dave Spence says he is entering the Republican race for Missouri governor.

Spence declared his candidacy Tuesday in an interview with The Associated Press. He becomes the first prominent Republican to officially launch a challenge to Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon in the 2012 elections.

Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder also is expected to announce his candidacy for governor soon. That would set up a Republican primary next August.

Spence is the president and CEO of Alpha Packaging, which makes plastic bottles, and also chairman of Legacy Packaging.

He says job creation will be the number one theme of his campaign. Spence says he wants to reduce government interference in businesses and make Missouri a "right-to-work" state in which union fees cannot be a condition of employment.