One race gets ugly, another gets cuddly, in Missouri primary contest

Jul 30, 2012

The leading Republican candidates for Missouri lieutenant governor seem to have adopted a personal tone in their contest.

On public-radio station KCUR in Kansas City today, two-term Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder debated state Sen. Brad Lager. Lager is one of three Republicans challenging Kinder in the Aug. 7th primary.

Kinder has suggested Lager profited from the federal health care overhaul through work at a health care technology company. He says Lager had essentially lobbied for the company, and he accused Lager of not properly disclosing some financial dealings.

Lager says he has never lobbied, and accused Kinder of attacking private industry. He also criticized Kinder for not breaking tie votes in the Senate and for spending hundreds of nights at St. Louis hotels.

According to the Associated Press, Kinder has repaid the state for the hotel stays. (Go to KCUR to hear the full program)

Meanwhile the race for US Senate in Missouri adopted a warmer tone today, with former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin comparing US Senate primary candidate Sarah Steelman to a "momma grizzly" in a new Missouri ad promoting the U.S. Senate campaign of Steelman.  In a TV spot that began running today, Palin describes Steelman as an economist who “defends our tax dollars like a momma grizzly defends her cubs."

Steelman, a former state treasurer, is one of several Republicans competing in an Aug. 7th primary to challenge Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. Some of the other Republican candidates also have been touting endorsements from politicians. Businessman John Brunner campaigned today in Joplin with Sen. Tom Coburn, of Oklahoma. Congressmember Todd Akin has been running TV ads featuring praise from former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.