Editor's note: This story originally published in advance of the August primary. It has been edited to include information about the candidates who will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot. This article is part of the Missourian's 2012 general election voters guide.
WHAT'S THE JOB? The lieutenant governor becomes the acting governor of Missouri if the current governor dies, resigns or is unable to communicate. The lieutenant governor is also the president of the Missouri Senate, which means he or she opens the legislative session and casts the deciding vote in the event of a tie.
The lieutenant governor is also the official advocate for senior residents of Missouri and serves on a number of boards and commissions, including the Missouri Housing Development Commission and the Missouri Tourism Commission. The officeholder must be at least 30 and have been a Missouri resident for at least 10 years. The current salary for the position is $86,484 per year.
Incumbent Peter Kinder (R)
Kinder is seeking his third term.
Kinder is currently leading a lawsuit against the health care law in an effort to get the individual mandate deemed unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the individual mandate in a separate lawsuit in June. He has also worked on several bills concerning seniors and veterans, including the Missouri Military Family Relief Fund and the Elderly Protection Act of 2003, which increased the penalties for elder abuse.
Last year, he announced he would not run for governor to replace Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon, deciding instead to seek a third term as lieutenant governor.
- Personal: Age 58. Single.
- Previous occupations: 12 years in the Missouri Senate, representing Bollinge, Cape Girardeau, Madison, Mississippi, Perry and Scott counties. Attorney and real estate representative for Drury Industries. Associate publisher of Southeast Missourian.
- Education: Southeast Missouri State University; MU; St. Mary's University School of Law, 1979.
- Background: From Cape Girardeau. Formerly worked for U.S. Rep. Bill Emerson. Member of several boards, including the Missouri Development Finance Board and the Board of Public Buildings.
- Campaign website: peterkinder.com
Susan Montee (D)
Susan Montee was one of the first Democratic candidates to file for lieutenant governor against Republican House Speaker Steve Tilley, who later dropped out of the race. Montee beat seven Democrats to win her party’s nomination.
Montee was the state auditor after being elected in 2006 but was defeated in her bid for a second term by the current state auditor, Republican Tom Schweich. She said her experience at the Capitol prepared her to lead the state if the need should arise. She added that she knows "how to get the most out of our tax dollars" from her prior audits of two state financial boards on which the lieutenant governor serves.
After leaving the state auditor’s office, Montee was appointed chairwoman of the Missouri State Democratic Party. She left that position when she began running for lieutenant governor.
- Personal: Age 53. Divorced with three children.
- Previous occupations: Missouri state auditor, small business owner, certified public accountant, attorney.
- Education: Bachelor’s degree in accounting from Drury University; Juris Doctorate from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
- Background: Former chairwoman of the Missouri State Democratic Party; former Buchanan County auditor; former member of St. Joseph City Council; member of the Missouri Association for Trial Attorneys and the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants.
- Campaign website: susanmontee.com.
Matthew Copple (Libertarian)Matthew Copple is the sole Libertarian candidate running for lieutenant governor. He could not be reached for comment prior to the August primary when this story first published.
Copple filed for candidacy on March 23 and has filed for an campaign finance disclosure exemption with the Missouri Ethics Commission.
Cynthia L. Davis (Constitution)
Davis served as a Republican state representative for four terms until she was term-limited out of office in 2011. After leaving office, Davis became executive director of the Center for Marriage Policy. She left the Republican Party in July 2011 and joined the Constitution party.
Davis is running for lieutenant governor because she wants to hold the governor and legislature accountable, according to her website.
"Our liberty is at stake, and there is no other candidate who will protect or defend our values," she wrote.
Davis said in a letter to the Republican Party that she left the GOP because it caters to too many special interests.
She did not respond to a request for additional information.
- Personal: Married to Bernie Davis. They have seven children.
- Education: Degree in broadcast journalism from Acton University.
- Occupation: Owner of Back to Basics Christian Bookstore.
- Campaign website: votecynthia.com