Mo. gov. candidates oppose court ballot measure

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon and Republican challenger Dave Spence both oppose a ballot measure that would give the governor greater power in picking Missouri's top judges.

A November ballot measure would change the seven-person panel that nominates judicial candidates to the governor. It would increase the number of citizens named to the panel by the governor to four instead of 3, with the rest selected by an attorneys' association. It also would increase the number of judicial nominees the panel submits to the governor to four instead of 3.

The measure was referred to the ballot by the Republican-led Legislature. But Spence says it would give the governor too much power and he sees no need for the change.

A Nixon spokeswoman says the governor also supports the current system.

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