JEFFERSON CITY -- It was a race that was as ugly as it was expensive, and in the end the power of incumbency appears to have won out.
Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder survived a challenge from a member of his own party on Tuesday, defeating state Sen. Brad Lager and earning his party's nomination for a third term in office. In November, he'll face off with former Auditor Susan Montee, who won the Democratic nomination in an eight-way primary.
The Kinder-Lager race was highlighted with months of attack ads on TV and radio. Lager, with the help of a nonprofit that dumped $300,000 into the race, slammed Kinder for having to reimburse the state more than $54,000 to cover the cost of hotel rooms for non-official business. He also criticized Kinder for frequenting an Illinois strip club in the 1990s.
To get those attack ads on the air, Lager received nearly $1 million in donations from the family of David Humphreys, a Joplin businessman and former Kinder donor.
Kinder countered the attacks with a few of his own, alleging Lager benefited from the federal health care reform law and voted to use federal stimulus money in the state's budget.