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Covering state lawmakers, bills, and policy emerging from Jefferson City.

Dixon drops out of GOP contest for governor; four candidates remain

Official photo

Missouri’s crowded GOP contest for governor has lost a participant, as state Sen. Bob Dixon is dropping out.

The departure of Dixon, R-Springfield, isn’t entirely unexpected. He was at the bottom of the pack when it came to fundraising. His last campaign finance report showed him with less than $83,000 in the bank.

Bob Dixon
Credit Official photo

Dixon also had to deal with some personal issues stemming from his past. His campaign announcement in July soon forced to him to discuss his years in the mid-1980s when he lived as a gay man. Dixon has renounced that lifestyle, is married and has three children. In the General Assembly, he has been a staunch social conservative.

The remaining Republican contenders, set to compete in next year’s primary, are Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, former House Speaker Catherine Hanaway, St. Louis businessman John Brunner and author/former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens.

So far, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is the only major Democrat seeking the job.

Candidate filing begins in late February.

In Monday’s announcement, Dixon thanked his supporters. 

"Your authentic support inspired me every day. Together, I know we could have renewed the Spirit of Missouri and made our state a place of renewed freedom where no one, rich or poor, would settle for living off the backs or the work of others, but rather a place where all would be free to determine their destiny and enjoy the reward of their own labor.”

He added his “deepest respect and admiration for Amanda, my bride of 23 years who has stood beside me always with honor and trust, encouraging me daily to trust in the goodness of God.”

Dixon said he does not plan to endorse any of his rivals.

Copyright 2015 St. Louis Public Radio

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.