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JEFFERSON CITY, MO. (AP) - Missouri's Republican nominee for governor is calling for a moratorium on "unnecessary travel" by state employees - starting with Gov. Jay Nixon.

Dave Spence said Thursday the Democratic governor should order the travel restrictions as part of a general belt-tightening by the state.

Spence noted the state already has borrowed $200 million from its reserves barely two months into the new fiscal year. He also pointed to an audit released Wednesday that said Nixon's office had shifted $1.7 million of travel, personnel and office costs to other agencies over several years.

Nixon has defended the way his office allocates costs to agencies.

A campaign spokesman said Thursday that Nixon has a strong record of fiscal responsibility, noting he has kept the budget in balance without raising taxes.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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