Republican Candidates For Missouri Governor Are Political Unknowns

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(KTVI)- You Decide 2012: Missouri primary election candidates are ramping up their campaigns with only a week and a half before the August 7th primary election.

Republican candidates for governor still face name recognition issues as they reach out to voters who might have expected to see Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder's name on the ballot for the GOP gubernatorial nomination.  But Kinder surprised the party when he stepped out of that race and chose to seek a third term as Missouri's Lieutenant Governor.

None of the four have held office before.  David Spence is a St. Louisan who sold his plastics manufacturing business in 2010.  He is touting his ability to create jobs and a critical asset for the next governor.  Fred Sauer of St. Louis founded an investment firm and points to his experience challenging government laws on cloning and abortion as qualifications.  He intends to fight large contributions to politicians.  Bill Randles, a former preacher and Kansas City lawyer, has spent 19 months crossing the state in his bid for governor.  He says he has studied the issues in Missouri extensively.

"We've elected educators and lawyers," said David Spence, " but it is time for a businessman to get into office and take a fresh look at everything we do as a state and say: 'Are we good at it and should we stay in it?'"  Spence recommends zero based budgeting to get the state back on track.

Bill Randles points to his web site to show he is well prepared for the job of Governor because he has thought out his priorities and written about them.  "The first thing I would do is work with the Legislature to streamline government and combine several departments (including the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Conservation).  Randles would support making Missouri a "Right to Work" state where union membership would not be required in companies where unions represent employees.  He favors reducing regulations and taxes as well as judicial reform.

St. Louisan Fred Sauer started an investment advisory firm.  He is running for governor to fight unlimited campaign contributions.  He believes the large donations to politicians are "corrupting government and nullifying the peoples' vote.  "There's no provision in the state constitution that says government should start businesses and pick winners and losers."

John Weiler is also seeking the GOP nomination.  He is from Pevely and is most concerned about the state of Missouri's economy.  No web site was available for Weiler.

Find more information about David Spence at www.spenceforgovernor.com.  Bill Randles shares his views and plans at www.billrandles.com.   Fred Sauer's platform can be seen at www.fredsauerformissouri.com.

Betsey.Bruce@tvstl.com