DELWOOD, Mo. — Promising “a Republican campaign like no other” Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder formally announced his entrance into the race for Missouri governor in 2016.
Kinder stood before a crowd just outside of Ferguson, Missouri, alongside Ferguson Mayor James Knowles, announcing that the unrest that plagued the city nearly one year ago was indicative of just the kind of failures of the executive office that he would reverse.
“In the last year there has been a vacuum of leadership created by Jay Nixon and Chris Koster,” Kinder states in campaign literature handed out at the event. “This will be a law and order campaign.”
At the event Kinder handed out campaign pieces that making commitments to maintain law and order, enhance Missouri’s economic standing, reform public education, increase access to healthcare, and clean up government.
In his speech he paid respect to former State Auditor Tom Schweich, and pledged to run a clean campaign and to debate the issues.
Kinder’s entrance into the race further crowds the Republican ticket. Former House Speaker Catherine Hanaway, state senator Mike Parson, and former state representative Randy Asbury have all announced campaigns as well. Former Navy Seal Eric Greitens has announced that he has more than $1 million cash on hand for his campaign’s exploratory efforts, and businessman John Brunner has also formed and exploratory committee.
Kinder originally ascended to the post of Lt. Governor in 2004 — after a long spell in the state senate where Kinder led the chamber and was credited with helping Republicans retake the majority — where he has remained. In 2008 he flirted with a run for governor, famously stating he’d “crossed the rubicon” before ultimately backing away and seeking and winning re-election. In 2012, Kinder campaigned and fundraised with the intention of running again, only to once again step away from the race after a spate of negative press stories.
However, this campaign will be his first without Republican strategist David Barklage. Jason Rosenbaum with St. Louis Public Radio reported that they parted on good terms, and that Barklage was no longer his consultant. This may pave the way for a John Brunner candidacy. Hanaway has tapped Axiom Strategies led by Jeff Roe, Greitens is with Victory Enterprises, while the Parson campaign is with the J. Harris Company. The Kinder campaign is currently led by Pam Dixon, and Craig Arnzen.
As of his April Missouri Ethics Commission Report, Kinder had more than $50,000 cash-on-hand.
The jump into the race comes as Republicans have speculated for months about just who else might throw their name into the race, which will likely see a Republican nominee face off against Democrat Attorney General Chris Koster, who has no challenger in his own primary.
Kinder’s move is also opens up the field for Lt. Governor. The only announced candidates are is Bev Randles a republican from Kansas City who sent out a statement Sunday congratulating Kinder on his years of service, Rep. Tommy Pierson (D-Spanish Lake), and Democrat Brad Bradshaw of Springfield.
However, there are several candidates that are rumored to be considering running now that Kinder it out of the race, including State Senators Mike Kehoe (R-Jefferson City), Jason Holsman (D-Kansas City), and Tom Dempsey (R-St. Charles), Doug Libla (R-Poplar Bluff) as well as Rep. Caleb Jones (R-Columbia), and businessman Barry Aycock.
What the first part of Kinder’s speech here:
Watch part 2 here:
Collin Reischman is the Managing Editor for The Missouri Times, and a graduate of Webster University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. To contact Collin, email email@example.com or via Twitter at @CMReischman