Missouri Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder vowed to “return to law and order” in announcing his candidacy for governor Sunday.
The announcement occurred at a restaurant in Dellwood, near the border of Ferguson and not far from various businesses that were looted and set on fire in November by people upset after a grand jury didn’t indict a white Ferguson policeman for the Aug. 9 fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old who had scuffled with the officer.
“I am offering the people of Missouri a new covenant,” Kinder told The Associated Press just before the announcement. “At the heart of the new covenant is no more Fergusons.”
Kinder has criticized Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon’s handling of the situation, particularly for not more rapidly deploying the National Guard to prevent violence. Kinder said the damage that occurred was “mostly preventable.”
“Never again will we pull the National Guard off the streets where they should have been to protect lives and property,” Kinder said in the AP interview. “… I am here to say to all citizens of Missouri that we are going to return to law and order, law and order for everyone.”
Kinder, 61, of Cape Girardeau, has served as lieutenant governor since 2005 and was first elected in 1992 to the state Senate, where he become president pro tem when Republicans won control of the chamber in 2001. He currently is Missouri’s only Republican statewide executive official and will be entering the governor’s race with greater name recognition than the other Republican candidates.
Kinder, a school choice advocate, also told the AP that Brown had graduated from the failing Normandy school district, pushing his case for “more choices than a one size fits all system designed 150 years ago when we were an agrarian society.” He also pitched his campaign in a Tweet that said he intended to make the state “competitive again.”
The only Democrat in the race so far is Attorney General Chris Koster. Nixon is barred by term limits from seeking re-election.
But the Republican field is growing, with three other candidates - Missouri House Speaker Catherine Hanaway, state Sen. Mike Parson and former state Rep. Randy Asbury - already in the race and more expected to join.
Kinder starts behind the other Republicans in fundraising. He had less than $57,000 in his campaign account at the start of April. By contrast, Koster had $3.3 million, Hanaway more than $1.2 million and Parson about $444,000. Candidates are to report updated financial figures to the state Ethics Commission by next Wednesday.
Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.