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Dave Spence hoping business savvy will win hearts of MO voters

Christine Page

The presumptive Republican candidate for Missouri Governor, Dave Spence, says Democrat Jay Nixon is not doing a thing to help grow the state economy.

Spence is a wealthy St. Louis businessman who made his fortune as a manufacturer of plastic containers.  He is a virtual outsider in state politics, having never run for political office before.   Spence addressed members of the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association (RCGA) on Friday.

Mr. Spence accused Nixon of stifling growth, by imposing layers of unnecessary regulations on the private sector. 

“I’m kind of a common sense guy,” said Spence.  “Everyone has their own version of common sense.  My version is—less is more—and I think we’ve put way too much burden on the government and I also think we have people who’ve never been in the real world making rules and regulations.  For instance, EPA, DNR in our state, they’ve lost track of common sense.”

Spence said he is in favor of making Missouri a “right-to-work” state, thereby restricting the role of unions in negotiating contracts.

Spence says he supports mandatory drug tests for welfare recipients as a way to break the culture of dependence.

“We have got to simply start bringing it in, tightening it up and getting people back to work.  There are jobs out there, it may not be the job that you left, it may not be the job that you want, but if it’s the difference between putting food on your table or not putting food on your table, there are jobs out there.”

Spence’s primary competition for the nomination in the August primary is Kansas City attorney Bill Randles.

Early polling shows Nixon with a substantial lead over Republicans.

A spokesman for the Missouri Democratic Party said Spence’s talk of accountability falls flat—especially considering his decision, as a board member of a regional bank—not to repay the government for a $40 million bailout loan.