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Nixon Wins Re-Election, Despite Missouri's Support For Romney

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

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

His margin of victory wasn’t quite as large as 2008, but Nixon beat his Republican challenger Dave Spence by more than 10 points.

In an address to his supports 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," he said.

Perhaps reflecting the fact that Romney outdistanced President Obama by 11 points, Nixon spoke of focusing his attention on the shared values of the state.

"Instead of simply demonizing the other political party, we bring Democrats, Republicans , independents together. 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," he said.

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

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

Credit Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio
Republican gubernatorial candidate and St. Louis businessman Dave Spence (standing) on election night, Nov. 6, 2012.

“It’s been a tough, tough year," Spence said, looking very dour. "People are slinging arrows at you and you’re guilty until proven innocent.”

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," Spence said after his concession speech. "But he won and I didn’t, so if he can sleep at night I guess that’s what he has to do.”

Spence said the campaign has taken a toll on his family and that he’s unsure of where he’ll go from here – or if it will include politics.

Follow Rachel Lippmann on Twitter: @rlippmann

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel

    • See the St. Louis Beacon's Jason Rosenbaum's report on this race
    • See more stories on issues and elections from St. Louis Public Radio, the St. Louis Beacon and Nine Network of Public Media at BeyondNovember.org.
    Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.