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Montee makes television debut in lieutenant governor bid

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 8, 2012 -  After roughly eight months of the campaign trail, former state Auditor Susan Montee released her first television ad in her lieutenant governor bid.

The St. Joseph native’s ad emphasizes her family background, especially how her father went missing in action during the Vietnam War. That experience during childhood, she says in the ad, shaped Montee “to be an advocate for their veterans and their families – the way our lieutenant governor is supposed to be.”

“When they’re done with their service, our soldiers should know they have a home, quality health care and a job,” Montee says in the ad. “Stand with me, and I will make sure our veterans get everything they earn and deserve.”

While the lieutenant governor’s office doesn’t have many defined duties, the officeholder does serve on state boards aimed at helping veterans.

The ad is noteworthy because it marks the first time Montee has advertised on television during the election cycle. While incumbent Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder battled over the airwaves with state Sen. Brad Lager, Montee kept her powder dry in a low-profile Democratic primary against seven other candidates.

That strategy probably helped Montee best Kinder in the cash on hand department during the latest reporting period, as Kinder depleted much of his campaign war chest fending off Lager’s strong challenge. But Kinder took in about $129,000 in donations of $5,000 or more during September, a sign that his campaign is recalibrating for the fall campaign.

Kinder’s last two statewide election have been close. He beat then-state Rep. Sam Page by about 2.6 percent points, which was a bigger margin of victory than his extremely narrow win in 2004 against former Secretary of State Bekki Cook. If Kinder prevails, he would be first lieutenant governor to win three terms in office since Frank Gaines Harris. 

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.

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