Updated at 8:20 p.m.
In Missouri's gubernatorial race, Republican businessman Dave Spence hasn't gotten much traction against the Democratic incumbent, Gov. Jay Nixon. But in a radio interview this morning on WTAD, the first-time candidate said he and his wife wrested control of the campaign from the ad firms -- and that doing things in a more positive way made a big difference.
"Well, I think first of all we actually as a team, I started making the decisions, my wife started making the decisions, on the commercials," says Spence in the interview. "I know it sounds kinda crazy but, you know we had all these DC ad firms telling us what they thought Missourians wanted to hear and we said, you know what, it's just not the pulse we get. People want to hear the truth, they want to see who you're -- they're voting for, the wanna see a family. They want to see your faith. And they want, you know, just want to hear what you can do versus just bashing the other guy. And so we changed and I think it made a big difference."
A Spence ad launched this week features a woman telling a story of a state inspector treating her badly, followed by Nixon canceling her contract. St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial page editor Tony Messenger called it "a dirty, race-baiting lie from a desperate candidate." An ad Spence released earlier this week attacks Nixon on multiple issues and calls him a "failed governor." Earlier this month, Spence's campaign released two ads hitting Nixon as a "career politician."
Spence, who largely self-funded his bid, has loaned his campaign another $2 million in the last two weeks. Nixon is favored to win reelection on Tuesday.