JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has taken a new, more left-leaning approach in his second term.
Nixon has long been a Democrat. But he could have passed himself off as a moderate Republican during his first four years as governor. He cut taxes, spending and thousands of government jobs. And Nixon shied far away from President Barack Obama's signature health care law.
Since he won re-election a year ago, however, Nixon has sought to expand Missouri's Medicaid eligibility under Obama's health care law. He vetoed a big income tax cut and numerous other bills passed by the Republican-led Legislature. And this past week, Nixon came out in support of gay marriage.
Some political scientists say Nixon appears to be re-positioning himself to appeal to national Democrats.
Texas Governor Rick Perry says that unless Missouri lawmakers override Governor Jay Nixon's veto of an income tax cut, he won't be the only governor trying to lure business from the Show-me State. Perry made the comments Thursday evening while speaking at a pro-tax cut rally in Chesterfield.
Perry had spent the day in the St. Louis area pushing for the override of Nixon's veto of House Bill 253.
Nixon crisscrossed the state Thursday, telling crowds that the tax cut would imperil critical services like education and risk the state's Triple-A tax rating.
Both men spent Thursday morning discussing their positions with McGraw Milhaven on his KTRS morning show. Nixon continued to criticize the Texas Governor for trying to "poach" business, while Perry said it's merely competition in a very competitive arena.
Perry also told McGraw that $40 million in business leaves Missouri for Texas every year, although he could not name any specific business. Nixon contests that figure.
The Missouri Governor said the bottom line is that states should be competing against the world for a piece of the economic pie, not slicing into each other's portion.
Missouri Treasurer Clint Zweifel is ruling out a run for governor in 2016.
Zweifel, a Democrat, is prohibited by term limits from seeking a third term as treasurer.
He had been mentioned along with Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster as a potential successor to Democratic Governor Jay Nixon.
But Zweifel campaign manager Mike Pridmore said Monday that the state treasurer will not run for governor in 2016 because he want's to spend more time with his family.