- Associated Press - Monday, July 20, 2015

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - State Sen. Bob Dixon joined four other announced Republican candidates vying for Missouri governor in 2016, touting his Christian faith and conservative views during an announcement Monday on the front porch of his Springfield home.

“It is my faith in God that helps me to daily set the compass,” Dixon told reporters during a stop at the Capitol later Monday. “I hope the people of Missouri will accept my record of service as a reflection of my faith in the Almighty, because that frankly is at the core of what I do.”

Dixon, 46, added that he respects and appreciates other religions. He said he wants to help “renew Missouri’s spirit and offer Missouri’s families sensible conservative solutions.”

He was first elected to the Senate in 2010 and served in the House for eight years before that. Much of his work in the Legislature has centered on crime policy, and he chairs the Senate’s criminal justice committee. He worked in banking and finance before his election to the Legislature.

Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon is barred from seeking re-election because of term limits. Attorney General Chris Koster is the sole Democrat looking to replace him.

To challenge Koster, Dixon first needs to push past a growing field of Republican candidates. Former Missouri House Speaker and U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway, Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, fellow state Sen. Mike Parson and former state Rep. Randy Asbury all are seeking the GOP nomination. Two others - former Navy SEAL officer Eric Greitens and suburban St. Louis businessman John Brunner - are expected to announce soon.

Dixon, who voted in favor of a right-to-work measure vetoed by Nixon this year and supported a required 72-hour waiting period for women to receive an abortion, is highlighting his conservative beliefs on the campaign trail. He said he supports “traditional marriage,” is against abortion and backs gun rights. He also touted local control of education, including giving parents more control of their children’s education and schools more control over curriculum. Dixon also said he wants to help businesses by cutting bureaucracy.

Dixon has less than $74,000 to spend on a campaign for governor as of the most recent finance reports covering the past three months ending June 30. By contrast, Koster has nearly $4 million. The Republican also is behind the GOP’s top contenders in terms of cash on hand: Hanaway has roughly $1.5 million and Greitens $1.1 million.

Dixon raised only about $1,200 in the past three months, but recently spent $18,900 on research and analysis and another $8,500 on an announcement video.


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