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.
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.
The Savannah Republican announced his candidacy for the state's No. 2 executive on Monday, just days after Republican House Speaker Steven Tilley announced he was dropping out of the lieutenant governor's race.
A political observer says Republicans in Missouri may have already blown their chances to win state-level statewide offices next year.
The Secretary of State’s race is the only one with any major GOP contenders (State Senators Scott Rupp and Bill Stouffer, and House Speaker Pro-tem Shane Schoeller), following Steven Tilley’s departure from the Lt. Governor’s race. Current Lt. Governor Peter Kinder (R) still hasn’t announced whether he’s running for governor.
(Click on the link to hear Marshall Griffin's exclusive interview with Tilley)
The only major Republican contender in the Missouri Lt. Governor’s race has dropped out.
Steven Tilley of Perryville made the surprise announcement today (Thursday) to fellow House Republicans and to the media. He says he made the decision after realizing that he wants to be a normal person again.
“It wasn’t in my heart to do it, I just didn’t have the fire in the belly," Tilley said. "I started out because I wanted to do it, but I’ve sacrificed a lot to myself financially and to my family, and I’m comfortable…it’s a load off my shoulders and I’m excited to move into a new chapter.”
The committee that sponsors presidential debates during the general election has chosen Denver, Hempstead, N.Y., and Boca Raton, Fla., as the sites for three debates in October 2012. They are to take place, barring any unforseen changes, as follows.