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State Democrats urge support for Tour of Missouri

By Associated Press / St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis, MO – Democratic leaders in the state legislature are urging Governor Jay Nixon to continue state funding for the Tour of Missouri.

Senate Minority Leader Victor Callahan, House Minority Leader Paul LeVota and several other Democrats sent a letter on Tuesday to Nixon.

They said the state's $1.5 million annual subsidy of the race is a wise tourism investment.
St. Louis Democrat Jamilah Nasheed signed her name to the letter, but added that she does not support funding the tour at the expense of cutting services.

"Let me just make it practically clear," said Nasheed, "I don't want to support the tour of Missouri at the expense of cutting social service programs. If we're gonna cut social service programs than we probably will have to think twice about where we can find funding for the Tour of Missouri."

This year's race occurred only after Nixon's administration backed off a proposal to withhold state funding because of budget concerns.

Nixon spokesman Scott Holste says the Democratic governor wants to evaluate the state's financial situation before deciding whether continue funding the race.

Missouri's three-year sponsorship deal ended with this year's race, which was won by American David Zabriskie.