Republicans have two new candidates for Lieutenant Governor.  We talked to the first one yesterday evening, a couple of hours before the second one announced his candidacy.  

Senator Brad Lager of Maryville represents 16 counties in north Missouri.  He’s halfway through his second and last term in the senate.  He has run statewide before, when he lost the race for state treasurer in 2008. 

Lager says he’s been thinking about getting into the race for some time, even before House Speaker Steve Tilley got in, then pulled out.  Lager says economic development in Missouri is lagging and he wants to improve the business climate. There’s only so much a Lieutenant Governor can do about that…Lager says he sees the office as an advocacy position more than a policy-making one.

Several other names are being talked about as possible candidates for the Republican nomination for Lieutenant Governor.  One of those people announced his candidate last night–St. Louis developer Chris McKee, who also wants to run on a pro-buisiness platform. McKee’s father, Paul, has gotten millions of dollars in tax credits for a massive redevelopment plan for north St. Louis.  Lager has been a critic of Missouri’s tax credit program. 

Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder says he won’t seek a third term.  Republicans continue waiting for him to announce if he’ll get in the governor’s race. He says the announcement is “days away.” 

Listen to interview with Brad Lager 12:15 mp3