Republican challenger Dave Spence has filed a defamation lawsuit against Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon over a campaign ad.
The lawsuit filed Friday in Cole County claims Nixon maliciously or recklessly broadcast false statements about Spence's role with a bank. The suit seeks unspecified monetary damages.
Nixon's campaign manager, Oren Shur, responded by saying Spence "needs to take a deep breath."
"You see a lot of crazy stunts during the course of a campaign," Shur, said in a statement. "But this frivolous lawsuit is misguided and desperate.”
Nixon has been running ads that describe Spence as a banker and claim Spence used part of a $40 million federal bank bailout to buy a vacation home.
Spence once served on the board of Reliance Bancshares, which received bailout money, and he did receive a home loan from the bank. But Spence says there was no connection to the federal money, he received no special treatment and he is not a banker.
As previously reported on Monday, Spence issued a cease and desist letter to TV stations airing the ads. The Nixon campaign responded by calling it "desperate." The very next day, the Nixon campaign released another ad on the issue, once again referring to Spence as a banker.
This issue was discussed at length on the Politically Speaking podcast. The gubernatorial discussion begins around the eight minute mark.
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