Nixon wins bid for re-election

Incumbent Gov. Jay Nixon led the vote by 20.8 percent in Boone County.
Maneater File Photo

Democratic incumbent Gov. Jay Nixon defeated Republican Dave Spence, a St. Louis businessman, in the Missouri gubernatorial race Tuesday.

Nixon received 54.7 percent of the vote to Spence’s 42.6 percent. Libertarian candidate Jim Higgins won 2.7 percent of the vote. In total, 2,715,869 votes were cast in the race.

In Boone County, Nixon won by a wide margin, capturing more than 45,000 votes, enough for 58.4 percent of the vote, and led Spence by 20.8 percentage points.

In St. Louis City and Kansas City, Missouri’s most populous jurisdictions, Nixon led by sizable margins. The surrounding counties, St. Louis County and Jackson County, respectively, had similar results. Spence took the majority of Missouri’s 114 counties, but Nixon’s advantage in more populous areas handed him the election.

At 10:36 p.m. Tuesday, Spence, who has never held a public office, tweeted that he had conceded to Nixon.

“(C)alled to congratulate Gov. Nixon on being re-elected. I can't thank my supporters enough. Time to all come together & make Mo better,” Spence said in the tweet.

In his concession speech, Spence lamented his loss but expressed hope for Missouri’s future.

“I’m a realist and I always tell the truth, as people know,” he said. “And the truth is, I just can’t win. It’s time for leadership to step in, just as I was willing to do, and fight the fight and have the passion and get Missouri proud again.”

Throughout the night, the Nixon campaign remained confident that Nixon would win his bid for re-election. Nixon arrived at his watch party at a St. Louis concert venue just before the first media outlets projected he would win.

“To the people of Missouri, thank you for the confidence, for this great honor to continue serving as your governor,” Nixon said in his victory speech.

In his speech, Nixon thanked his family, supporters, campaign staff and Spence, who he said campaigned fiercely. He said that as governor, he would continue to support bipartisanship in Missouri.

“Instead of pitting one side of the state against another, we embrace the common values that we all share,” Nixon said. “We’ve done a lot these past four years, but let me be clear: we are just getting started. Missouri’s best days are in front of us.”

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