Senate President Pro Tem visits Cape Girardeau as part of political campaign

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

With what looks like a clear path to the Republican nomination for Missouri attorney general, Senate President Pro Tem Mike Gibbons is using a campaign kick-off to needle the incumbent, Democrat Jay Nixon, and offer ideas for revamping office operations.

Nixon, who first won the post in 1992, is stepping aside next year to take on one-term Republican Gov. Matt Blunt for the state's top job. In mid-summer, Gibbons appeared likely to have two primary opponents, Sen. Chris Koster of Harrisonville and Federal prosecutor Catherine Hanaway. But Koster switched to the Democratic Party in August and Hanaway announced last week that she will not run.

In Cape Girardeau at the end of a nine-city flying tour, Gibbons said he would make the office's contracting business with private attorneys more transparent by setting up a bidding process for such services. And he promised to work closely with local, state and federal law enforcement and prosecutors for more effective law enforcement.

"As attorney general, my No. 1 priority is to protect the people so that Missouri families and their children will be safe in their homes, in their neighborhoods, in their towns and on their farms," Gibbons said to a small group of Republican faithful gathered at the H&H Building.

Gibbons has been in politics for more than 20 years, starting as a city council member in Kirkwood, then winning election to the Missouri House in 1992. He won his state Senate seat in 2000, and is barred from running for a third term.

The latest round of fundraising reports were filed Monday. Gibbons has raised $389,430 for his campaign and has $220,817 in the bank. All three top Democrats reported raising more than Gibbons during the past three months and have campaign bank accounts exceeding Gibbons cash totals.

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