Missouri elects Republican newcomer Eric Greitens governor

Ex-Navy SEAL Greitens beat the state's Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster, taking 51 percent of the vote.
By Stephen Feller  |  Nov. 9, 2016 at 3:32 AM
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ST. LOUIS, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Coming into the day in a near tie with his opponent, political newcomer Eric Greitens, a former Navy SEAL and best-selling author, won the Missouri governorship Tuesday.

Greitens garnered 51 percent of the vote to beat Democratic nominee Chris Koster, Missouri's attorney general, and will take over for two-term Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon in January.

"Tonight begins a new generation of conservative leadership here in Missouri," Greitens told supporters after getting Koster's concession. "Tonight, we did more than win an election. We restored power to the people and we took our state back!"

Greitens, a former Democrat, ran on campaign promises to "clean up" the state's Legislature with ethics regulations, continue to resist expansions of the Affordable Care Act and promising to add Missouri to the list of states with "right to work" laws that some believe will help improve the job situation in the state.

Greitens is one of three Republican gubernatorial candidates to win their elections -- the others are in Indiana and Vermont -- giving the party 32 governor's offices, a modern record.

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