Dave Spence

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Dave Spence
Dave Spence bio pic.jpeg
Personal details
Born (1958-02-28) February 28, 1958 (age 59)
Overland, Missouri, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Suzie Spence (1990–present)
Children 4
Alma mater University of Missouri,

Dave Spence (born February 28, 1958) is an American corporate executive and politician.[1] He was the Republican nominee for governor of Missouri in the 2012 election,[2] losing the general election to incumbent Democrat Jay Nixon.

Early life and career[edit]

Spence was born in Overland in St. Louis County, Missouri. He spent much of his childhood in the St. Louis area with his mother and two sisters.[3] Following graduation from Kirkwood High School,[4] Spence earned a degree in Home Economics from the University of Missouri in Columbia.[5][6]

In 1985, the 26-year-old Spence purchased Alpha Packaging, a small plastics firm. Under his ownership it expanded from 15 to 800 employees. Spence has a family background in the plastics industry. His father had started a rubber and plastics business, for which Dave Spence worked as a teen; however, the business failed in the early 1980s.[7] Spence has also served as Chairman of Legacy Pharmaceutical Packaging.[1] Spence and wife, Suzie, married in 1990 and are the parents of four children.[1][3]

Political career[edit]

In November 2011, Spence announced his intention to run for Governor of Missouri regardless of whether Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder decided to run.[8] Kinder decided to run for reelection as Lieutenant Governor and endorsed Spence for governor.[2]

Spence, who has never held elected office before, has said: "Well one thing I would do is bring a fresh approach to everything. I am willing to jump in there and work my tail off, and I think it can be done. It’s a good point in my life and I feel the urgency to do something, and I can’t sleep at night knowing that I can make a difference and rally the troops and get the state turned around if I had the opportunity and said no."[5]

Spence's campaign website asserted that he held a degree in economics, a statement also made on at least one campaign flier, which also incorrectly stated that he had gone to the university's business school. His degree is actually in home economics. After the inaccuracy was revealed and publicly criticized in January 2012, he corrected his website.[9] Regarding the errors, Spence told the Associated Press "I have said all along that I will not or do not lie ... A lot of this is overblown, as I was not aware of any place that said business school ... I will take responsibility for this. I did not catch the mistake on early campaign literature."[10] Spence's campaign manager cited a staff oversight for the error.

On August 7, 2012 Dave Spence won the Republican party nomination for Missouri governor. He received 333,578 votes (59.9 percent) to outpace nearest challenger Bill Randles' 90,651 (16.3 percent).[11] Spence was defeated by incumbent Democrat Jay Nixon in the November 2012 general election.[12][13]

In his contest against Nixon, Spence had the support of Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum political action committee.[14]


  1. ^ a b c "Spence to Run for Missouri Governor". CBS St. Louis. 2011-11-15. Retrieved 2011-11-21. 
  2. ^ a b Jake Wagman (2011-11-18). "Kinder will not run for governor, seek third term as lt. gov instead". stltoday.com. Retrieved 2011-11-21. 
  3. ^ a b "Dave Spence for governor - biography". Spence for Governor Committee. 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  4. ^ Jake Wagman (2011-11-07). "St. Louis container exec mulls GOP bid for governor". Stltoday.com. Retrieved 2011-11-21. 
  5. ^ a b "Gubernatorial candidate visits the Heartland". KTVO-TV via their website. 2012-01-05. Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  6. ^ "Spence's college degree? Economics, yes, but of the home". St. Louis Post-Dispatch via their website. 2012-01-10. Retrieved 2012-01-10. 
  7. ^ "Dave Spence introducing himself...". St. Louis Post-Dispatch websitr. 2012-01-08. Retrieved 2012-01-14. 
  8. ^ Jake Wagman (2011-11-15). "St. Louis container executive says he will run for governor". Stltoday.com. Retrieved 2011-11-21. 
  9. ^ Rayfield, Jillian (January 13, 2012). "GOP Candidate Passed Off ‘Home Economics’ Degree As ‘Economics’ Degree". Talking Points Memo. Retrieved 2012-01-14. 
  10. ^ "Mo Governor candidate changes...". St. Louis Post-Dispatch website. 2012-01-12. Retrieved 2012-01-14. 
  11. ^ "Election Night Reporting". MO Secretary of State. August 8, 2012. Retrieved August 9, 2012. [permanent dead link]
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ Siegel, Elyse (2012-11-07). "Jay Nixon Election Results: Democrat Wins Reelection In Missouri Gubernatorial Race". huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  14. ^ "Candidates endorsed by Eagle Forum PAC, October 31, 2012". eagleforum.org. Retrieved November 3, 2012. 
Party political offices
Preceded by
Kenny Hulshof
Republican nominee for Governor of Missouri
Succeeded by
Eric Greitens