Incumbent Kinder faces primary challenge from Lager

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - On the August 7 primary ballot, four Republicans will be battling in the race for Missouri lieutenant governor.

A new line of attack in this race involves a well-known Kansas City area company.

The current lieutenant governor, Peter Kinder, is trying to fend off a challenge from state senator Brad Lager.

Kinder dropped his attempt to run for governor, and he now wants a third term as second-in-charge.

Lager is from Savannah, Mo., near St. Joseph.

He's challenging the two-term incumbent.

"If you keep doing what you're doing, you're going to keep getting what you're getting," Lager said. "So if we're going to change the direction of our state, we've got to change the leaders in our state."

Kinder dropped plans to run for governor after revelations of questionable travel expenses and a friendship with a former Penthouse Pet.

He said that was from 20 years ago; but she said a picture of them together, published in The Riverfront Times, was taken about a year and a half ago.

"At the time, I was a single man, I made a mistake and I've owned up to it. I didn't mislead anyone," Kinder said in an interview Thursday.

Lager works part time at Cerner, a well-known Kansas City company.

Kinder questions Lager's ties to Cerner, since Lager claims to be a small businessman.

Kinder said, "It is a problem if Sen. Lager has been lobbying for Cerner and not disclosing that he's a lobbyist."

Lager shot back in a separate interview the same day, "I have never lobbied, I am not a lobbyist, I have never been a lobbyist, that is nothing more than a Peter Kinder-created lie."

Despite the Supreme Court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act, both candidates are fighting implementation in Missouri.

Kinder has filed a lawsuit.

"The remedy has to be repeal at the federal level, resistance on the state level," he said. "That includes my lawsuit."

Lager is calling for a special session, but that appears doubtful.

"The legislature in Missouri needs to be decisive." he said. "I believe we need to give the federal government a clear statement that we are not going to expand Medicaid in Missouri."

The candidates are fighting to claim the mantle of the true conservative in this race.

Kinder and Lager have about the same amount of cash on hand for the rest of the race, a little over a million dollars.

Mike Carter and Charles Kullmann are also on the Republican primary ballot, but are not raising money or campaigning statewide.

We'll take a look at the Democrats running for lieutenant governor next week.

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