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John Brunner polling well in Missouri gubernatorial primary

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - A recent political poll commissioned by the political news service Missouri Scout shows outsider candidates John Brunner and Eric Greitens leading in the Republican gubernatorial primary. Former Missouri House Speaker Catherine Hanaway and the state's current lieutenant governor, Peter Kinder, are running third and fourth, respectively.

Brunner, who is in second place in the poll conducted by the Remington organization, argues he is the best choice because of his experience as the CEO of a family business. A St. Louisan who is financing most of his own campaign expenses, Brunner says the prime problem in Missouri is a lack of jobs.

"You hire a businessperson to solve that. You don't hire a lawyer. You don't hire a politician or an author,” Brunner said.

He told a small crowd of supporters in Arnold on Thursday there is not a "single bullet" to solve the state's economic problems.

"We need tax reform; we need to change the legal atmosphere and labor policy," Brunner said.

Brunner indicated he would sign a right-to-work law, but warned that would not solve all the business problems in Missouri. He thinks significant reform of state business regulations would help encourage the development of new jobs.

Brunner, who lost a statewide GOP primary in 2012 for the US Senate nomination, has never served in public office. He said some of the same charges Democrats used in 2012 against him had appeared in an attack ad created by a political action committee known as LG-PAC. In one TV commercial, a narrator claims Brunner failed to pay a tax lien. In response, Brunner said his company did not own the property and the lien was withdrawn. He pointed out only the first half of the story was used in the commercial, but not the second half.

One of Brunner’s opponents, former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens, accused him of sponsoring a YouTube video that is highly critical of Greitens' Navy service. Brunner denies that claim.

“This is truly an internal Navy SEAL-sailor issue and I don't get involved with the Navy SEALs and veterans,” he said. “I have served honorably (in the Marine Corps) and my opponent has served honorably."

A former campaign employee who left the campaign in September 2015 has been linked to the YouTube video.