By The Associated Press
THE CANDIDATES: Missouri's Nov. 6 gubernatorial election pits Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon against Republican challenger Dave Spence, a suburban St. Louis businessman who is making his first run for public office. Nixon is in his 26th year in office, following several terms as attorney general and a state senator.
THE ISSUES: Both Nixon and Spence have emphasized jobs, but in differing ways. Nixon highlights declining unemployment rates and specific business expansions, such as in Missouri's automotive industry. Spence cites figures showing slow overall economic growth in Missouri and failures of specific projects, such as the Mamtek artificial sweetener facility in Moberly.
THE CAMPAIGN: Spence's private-sector experience has been a focus of TV ads by both Spence and Nixon. Spence touts his success in adding hundreds of jobs at his former business, Alpha Packaging. Nixon highlights Spence's tenure on the board of Reliance Bancshares, which has failed to make payments on a federal bailout.