Huffpost Politics

Dave Spence, Candidate For Missouri Governor, Declines To Say Whether Akin Should Drop Out

Posted: Updated:
Todd Akin has indicated he will stay in the U.S. Senate race in Missouri.
Todd Akin has indicated he will stay in the U.S. Senate race in Missouri.

The Republican nominee for governor of Missouri criticized Todd Akin's "legitimate rape" comments Tuesday but declined to say whether or not Akin should drop his U.S. Senate campaign.

Businessman Dave Spence, who is challenging Gov. Jay Nixon (D), told the Kansas City Star Tuesday, eight days after Akin made the controversial remarks, that he disagreed with the St. Louis congressman, but said he was focused on his own race and not the Senate race.

The Kansas City Star reports:

But the St. Louis businessman stopped short of calling for Akin to abandon his campaign for U.S. Senate.

“What he said was wrong and offensive, and he has admitted that,” Spence said shortly after addressing a meeting of the University of Missouri College Republicans. “I’m really just choosing to run for governor and get 250,000 Missourians back to work. There’s enough cooks in the kitchen now without me chipping in.”

While national GOP leaders -- including Mitt Romney, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, RNC Chairman Reince Preibus and four former Missouri senators -- have called on Akin to drop out of the race, state Republicans have largely remained silent. The National Republican Senatorial Committee and the Tea Party have indicated they are likely to cut funding in Akin's campaign against Sen. Claire McCaskill (D), one of the most competitive races in the country.

Spence's comments are similar to those made by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) when asked if the national groups should take funding away from Akin.

Several Missouri political analysts told The Huffington Post last week that Akin's decision to stay in the race could have an impact on other races in the state, including the gubernatorial race. Former state Sen. Jeff Smith (D-St. Louis), now a political science professor at The New School in New York City, indicated that it could cost Republicans votes from Republican suburban women who support abortion rights.

"They are long troubled by a 25-year GOP trend of intolerance towards gays and minorities and reproductive freedom," Smith said last week.

While Spence has not addressed whether Akin should remain in the race, at least one Republican candidate for the state legislature has backed Akin. Last week, Fred Berry, who is challenging state Rep. Stephen Webber (D-Columbia), donated to Akin's campaign after the "legitimate rape" remarks and called on others to do the same.

Specnce has been facing an uphill battle against Nixon, with polls showing him trailing the Democrat. Spence entered the race in November, originally planning to challenge Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder (R). Kinder that month instead decided to seek a third term as lieutenant governor due to a stripper scandal.

Spence has been caught up in his own controversy since it was reported his website and campaign literature said he held a degree in economics from the University of Missouri, while his degree was actually in home economics.

Also on HuffPost:

Political Reaction To Akin 'Rape' Comments
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

Akin 'legitimately' up the creek

Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Todd Akin: Going for distance

Todd Akin's largest benefactors

Akin's Collateral Damage

Michelle Obama on Todd Akin

Planned Parenthood Advocates Oppose Todd Akin Representing Every Woman ...

Why Todd Akin Could Still Win Missouri (Seriously)

Sophia Bush Challenges Todd Akin, Paul Ryan's Stance on Rape

Dave Spence Agrees with Todd Akin: No Exception for Rape or ...

What Does Dave Spence Think of Todd Akin? | Fired Up! Missouri

Dave Spence Agrees with Todd Akin: No Exception for Rape or - Topix

Spence continues to campaign but avoids press amid Akin controversy

Farm Bureau sticks with tradition, backs Akin and Spence - St. Louis ...

Dave Spence calls Akin's rape comments 'wrong and offensive ...

Spence avoids delving into Akin controversy

Republicans Spence, Akin win Missouri Farm Bureau's support

Statewide Republican candidates stay quiet about Akin “rape” remarks

 
  Obama Romney
Obama Romney
332 206
Obama leading
Obama won
Romney leading
Romney won
Popular Vote
33 out of 100 seats are up for election. 51 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Holdover
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats* Republicans
Current Senate 53 47
Seats gained or lost +2 -2
New Total 55 45
* Includes two independent senators expected to caucus with the Democrats: Angus King (Maine) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.).
All 435 seats are up for election. 218 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats Republicans
Seats won 201 234
Click for Full Results