Peter Kinder has been fundraising, touring the state and even has a campaign staff for 2012. But what’s he running for?
“He’s looking diligently down the road at potentially a statewide race that would be the highest office in the state in the executive branch,” says Lloyd Smith, director of the Missouri Republican Party.
Even House Floor Leader Tim Jones, another Republican, called Kinder “our next Gov.” on Twitter last week.
But Caitlin Legacki of the Missouri Democratic party says she doesn’t care what Kinder says until he announces. Legacki says if he wants to be treated like a candidate, he needs to declare and let people know if he’s running for Governor.
Smith says Kinder won’t be running for another term as Lieutenant Governor – House Speaker Steven Tilley, another Republican, has already announced his bid for that position. Smith says he has never seen a Lieutenant Governor stay for more than two terms, which Kinder is at the end of right now.
Smith accused Nixon of being a poor leader for not taking a stance on the late-term abortion bill or the healthcare bill. Legacki says Kinder can’t accuse Nixon of sitting on any fences after the Governor announced a bi-partisan jobs bill on Wednesday.
Smith says just because Kinder hasn’t announced per-se doesn’t hurt his chances. He says Kinder had a fundraising event with Governor Rick Perry of Texas that raised Kinder a half million dollars; Smith says that’s the most money ever raised in a single event for a non-presidental campaign. Smith says Kinder will announce his plans in time.
Neither Kinder nor Nixon returned phone calls regarding their campaigns.