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Nixon Re-Elected, Defeats Spence

Nixon: via Missouri Governor’s website, Spence: courtesy Alpha Packaging

In a state that went overwhelmingly for Mitt Romney, Democrat Jay Nixon was re-elected to a second term as governor of Missouri.  Putting people before politics

His margin of victory wasn’t quite as large as 2008, but Nixon beat his Republican challenger Dave Spence by at least 12 points. In an address to his supporters at the Pageant in St. Louis, Nixon called his victory a result of voters putting the people’s business above petty politics.

“Missourians said because we’ve been able to work together, because we’re putting the common good first, we are moving in the right direction," says Nixon.

Perhaps reflecting the fact Missouri also went heavily for Mitt Romney, Nixon spoke to his supporters in St. Louis about focusing his attention on the shared values of the state.

“Instead of simply demonizing the other political party, we bring Democrats, Republicans, independents together," says Nixon. "Instead of pitting business against labor, or urban folks against rural folks, or one side of the state against the other, we embrace the common values that we all share.

Nixon will again face a GOP controlled General Assembly, with a veto-proof majority in the state House.

Spence concedes, but not happily

In his concession speech, Dave Spence said the campaign had taken a toll on his family, but he was proud of the race he’d run.

Spence called Nixon to congratulate him and wish him well. But his concession speech was a bit bitter.

“It’s been a tough, tough year where people are slinging arrows at you and you’re guilty until proven innocent," says Spence.

Those “arrows” were ads paid for by Nixon that criticized Spence for voting to delay paying back his bank’s TARP bailout. Spence sued Nixon for the ads, which he says are false.

“I think it’s beneath him," says Spence. "But he won and I didn’t so if he can sleep at night I guess that’s what he has to do.”

Spence says he’s unsure of where he’ll go from here – or if it will include politics.

Lippmann returned to her native St. Louis after spending two years covering state government in Lansing, Michigan. She earned her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and followed (though not directly) in Maria Altman's footsteps in Springfield, also earning her graduate degree in public affairs reporting. She's also done reporting stints in Detroit, Michigan and Austin, Texas. Rachel likes to fill her free time with good books, good friends, good food, and good baseball.
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