WHAT OTHERS SAY: Political shuffling begins in race for governor

Monday, September 5, 2011 | 4:03 p.m. CDT

A freshman lawmaker in the Missouri House of Representatives generated some publicity when he questioned Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder's viability as a candidate for governor after it was revealed that Kinder visited strip joints and allegedly flirted with a dancer at one of the clubs.

Republican Rep. Kevin Elmer of Nixa raised the question of Republican Kinder's standing as "the" candidate to challenge Gov. Jay Nixon in 2012.

KMOX Radio in St. Louis reported that Elmer is a first cousin of the husband of Sarah Steelman, former state treasurer and primary election candidate for the U.S. Senate. Steelman ran in the Republican primary for governor and lost to Kenny Hulshof.

The question being asked is Elmer breaking ground for Steelman to run again for governor? Kinder has said he isn't going to change his plans to seek the governorship. Is Steelman ready to step in if the Kinder campaign collapses?

Elmer has denied being involved in any action to boost Steelman and said he is speaking for himself, KMOX Radio reported. Elmer claims he has lost faith in Kinder and said other Republicans feel as he does.

There are many twists and turns in politics. Steelman isn't considered a strong candidate for the Senate seat now held by Democrat Claire McCaskill. We don't think Kinder has been damaged as much as some Republicans believe.

Whoever emerges to face incumbent Gov. Jay Nixon will have their hands full. Nixon has the campaign money, strong backing by his fellow Democrats and Independents, and it'll be an uphill struggle to unseat him.

From the Washington Missourian, courtesy of The Associated Press.

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