Dave Spence

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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.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

Election Day 2012 is just under a year away, and there’s still no major Republican challenger to Democrat Jay Nixon in next year’s Missouri Governor’s race.

GOP Lt. Governor Peter Kinder still has not announced his intentions, despite raising over a million dollars for a potential gubernatorial run.  Dave Robertson is a political science professor at the University of Missouri – St. Louis.  He says allegations about Kinder’s past visits to a strip club may have harmed his ability to financially keep pace with Nixon.

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