Nixon vs Spence: Missouri governor seeking re-election against Republican challengert

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Democrat Jay Nixon is seeking to become the first Missouri governor in 16 years to win re-election.

Nixon faces Republican businessman Dave Spence in Tuesday's gubernatorial election that has focused largely on Missouri's economy.

Nixon notes that Missouri's unemployment rate has fallen and remains well below the national level. He also points to promised job growth at certain businesses, including Ford and General Motors plants in Missouri.

But Spence cites different figures showing that Missouri's economy has trailed that of its neighbors and that many residents are in poverty or receiving food stamps. He says his experience as a business owner and CEO make him more qualified to be governor.

The last Missouri governor to win re-election was Democrat Mel Carnahan in 1996.

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