NIXON-HULSHOF CONTEST WILL GAIN NATIONAL ATTENTION
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Democrat Jay Nixon and Republican Kenny Hulshof are gearing up for a battle for Governor in Missouri that will gain national attention.
Nixon has considerable advantages: more money, a lead in the polls, an anti-Republican mood. But Hulshof, who was attacked during the primary for his ties to Washington, is now trying to turn that into an advantage.
Hulshof has already coined his campaign phrase against Nixon.
“They're going to do what they always do -- raise taxes on Missouri families -- but I have a feeling Missourians are going to tell him in November, ‘That's the wrong way, Jay!’” he told his supporters on Tuesday night.
As he turns his attention towards Nixon, Hulshof also has to work to unite what appears to be a fractured Republican Party. Steelman's 45 percent against the congressman demonstrates a strong following. It’s a group that Hulshof will need to court.
“I'd like to have a conversation in earnest with Treasurer Steelman; I'd like to do that –she's offered that -- to enlist her support,” he said.
“We need change. Missouri families cannot afford four more years of this,” said Nixon.
On Wednesday, Nixon said Hulshof's margin of victory on Tuesday shows that nearly 75 percent of voters signaled they want change. He's including Steelman's votes in that tally, of course, and pledged to fight with Hulshof for Steelman's supporters.
“I think, when the people speak, if they elect me chief executive of the state, they'll elect me with a platform for change on healthcare, college affordability, moving the economy forward,” Nixon said in Kansas City.
Now both candidates move forward in a 90-day sprint to the finish line. With no incumbent, and Missouri's reputation for tight races, Nixon versus Hulshof will quickly become one of the most watched races in the country.
Hulshof campaigned in Jefferson County, Nixon's home county just south of St. Louis, on Wednesday afternoon to send a message. But Hulshof's first order of business will be to get past the wounds of the primary, and enlist Steelman's full support. She could be a big help to him in southwest Missouri.