By DAVID A. LIEB, Associated Press
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Suburban St. Louis businessman Dave Spence has won the Republican primary for the right to challenge Democratic Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon.
Spence turned back a field of several Republicans on Tuesday after waging a campaign that highlighted his private-sector experience.
Nixon faced only nominal opposition in the Democratic primary.
The 54-year-old Spence stepped down last year as president and CEO of Alpha Packaging to mount his first-ever bid for public office. He put nearly $3.3 million into his gubernatorial campaign, easily outspending his Republican rivals. Spence described himself as a "job creator" in advertisements that suggested Missouri has fallen behind economically under Nixon's leadership.
Nixon also began running ads before the primary, noting how he has worked with Republicans and Democrats to avoid tax increases and make budget cuts.
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