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Bob Dixon announces run for Republican nomination for Missouri governor

Missouri state Sen. Bob Dixon, R-Springfield, during the most recent legislative session
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Another Republican is jumping into next year’s race for Missouri governor.

Bob Dixon currently represents Springfield and parts of Green County in the Missouri Senate, having first been elected to the 30th District seat in 2010 and re-elected last year. Before that he served four terms in the Missouri House.

He formally announced his bid for the GOP gubernatorial nomination at stops Monday in Springfield, Jefferson City and Columbia.

At the State Capitol, he told reporters that if elected, there’ll be a “new era of openness” in the governor’s office.

“We need a governor who will lead and work with all members of the House and the Senate to get things done,” Dixon said, “willing even to get out of the office and go door-to-door in this, the people’s house, the statehouse.”

He also says he’s already succeeded at helping to reduce government red tape.

“This process began three years ago when we passed my bill establishing the first-ever top-to-bottom review of all state regulations, and that process is going on right now,” Dixon said.  “Just last week, my bill to eliminate numerous boards and commissions from state government became law … so I guess I would say ‘been there, done that.’”

Dixon has a reputation for reaching out to Democratic colleagues, particularly after last year’s unrest in Ferguson. Fellow Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City, told St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum that Dixon “spent a number of days in my Senate district alongside protesters,” and that he “gets it.”

Dixon is married and has three daughters. His wife and youngest daughter appeared with him during his State Capitol tour stop Monday. His mother is former state senator Jean Dixon.

He touted himself as a strong supporter of not only the Second Amendment, but of “the entire (U.S.) Constitution,” and said that he had spent the past 23 years supporting traditional marriage.

When asked whether he would support legislation expanding Missouri’s definition of discrimination to include the LGBT community, Dixon stopped short of saying whether he would sign or veto it.

“I think the wise thing to do about any legislation is to wait until it is ... before me,” Dixon said, “but let me say this about that issue: I think it’s a sad day when we have to have laws to tell us to treat people with respect.”

Dixon’s announcement for Missouri governor expands the official GOP field to five, which also includes fellow state Sen. Mike Parson, Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, former House Speaker Catherine Hanaway, and former House member Randy Asbury.

St. Louis businessman John Brunner and Ex-Navy SEAL Eric Greitens are also expected to seek the GOP nomination. Meanwhile, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is expected to be the lone Democrat running for governor. He hasn’t officially announced yet.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter:  @MarshallGReport

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.

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