Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder takes us behind the scenes of America’s hottest gubernatorial race.
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Some in local media murmured that Elmer might have had an ulterior motive in writing that letter because his first cousin is married to Sarah Steelman, a Missouri politician once floated as a potential 2012 gubernatorial candidate. “That’s ridiculous,” Elmer replies. “Quite frankly, that irritates me a great deal.”
Elmer doesn’t doubt Kinder’s leadership, only his post-scandal electability. He knows as well as anyone that Kinder created and led the Republican Senate majority that now stands at 26 to 7 (to go along with a Republican House majority that expanded by 17 seats in 2010), and that he served effectively for four years as second-in-command under Governor Matt Blunt (2005-2009), the son of friendly but so far non-endorsing U.S. Senator Roy Blunt.
“I’m thrilled to get a $25,000 check from Emerson [Electric Co.], headquartered in Ferguson, Missouri. I’m thrilled to get a check from Enterprise Rent-a-Car.” He rattles off a list of corporate donors that sound nothing at all like law firms, and a whole lot like potential local job-creators.
“I think people in Missouri, for the most part, are not paying attention to what the national media is saying,” says Kinder.
After all, they’ve known him for years, and in the last gubernatorial election less than three million votes ended up being cast. Are the doomsayers at the Washington Post accurate, or merely bored?
“This is a very early point in what is going to be a late-deciding race,” says Kinder. “I’m going to keep traveling the state and visiting with Republicans.”
And no, he won’t be speaking with the governor.
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