Greitens, Koster square off in 1st Missouri governor debate

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BRANSON, Mo. (AP) _ Missouri’s gubernatorial candidates will get their first chance to showcase their differences face-to-face Friday at a debate in Branson.

The Missouri Press Association is hosting the forum as part of its annual convention. Republican candidate Eric Greitens and Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster will be joined in the hour-long debate by Libertarian Cisse Spragins, Independent Lester Turilli Jr., and the Green Party’s Don Fitz.

Greitens, a former Navy SEAL officer and first-time political candidate, won a hard-fought, four-person GOP primary.

Koster had a much easier road. The two-term attorney general defeated three lightly funded contenders in the Aug. 2 primary election.

Two-term incumbent Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon was prohibited by term limits from running again.