Farm Bureau sticks with tradition, backs Akin and Spence
This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 10, 2012 - The Missouri Farm Bureau has stuck with tradition and endorsed the two top Republicans on the state’s November ballot: U.S. Rep. Todd Akin for the U.S. Senate, and businessman Dave Spence for governor.
Both are from the St. Louis area.
First announced on Twitter, the endorsement came after the bureau’s board heard from both Republicans and the two Democrats they seek to oust: U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and Gov. Jay Nixon.
Democrats expected Akin and Spence to get the Farm Bureau’s nod, since it has always endorsed Republicans. However, several other agriculture-related groups have endorsed Nixon’s re-election, so there was some speculation that the bureau might break with tradition. But it did not.
The Post-Dispatch’s Virginia Young, Jefferson City bureau chief, covered the presentations by all four candidates.
Said Nixon campaign manager Oren Shur in a statement after the vote: “There’s a reason the Missouri Soybean Association and the Missouri Corn Growers made Governor Jay Nixon the only Democrat they’ve ever endorsed for governor – he has a strong record of fighting for Missouri farmers and growing the state's agriculture industry."
Spence later also issued a statement:
"I was so honored to receive the Missouri Farm Bureau's endorsement this afternoon. Missouri's agriculture industry is vital to our state. It is the largest sector of our economy accounting for $14 billion annually. Throughout my visits to all 114 Missouri counties, I've had the opportunity to meet with farm families in every corner of the state.
"The message I received loud and clear is we need to remove burdensome regulations, let the free market work, and create an environment where all of Missouri's businesses can thrive. This is Missouri's most sought after endorsement because Farm Bureau is such an excellent organization working on behalf of so many Missouri families."
(We will add statements from the other candidates, as we get them.)