In 1992, Missouri’s race for governor was so nasty, the top two finishers refuse to talk about it.
The winner ended up in prison. The third-place finisher never held office again, despite being a former congressman. Only the runner-up, who many blamed for the intensely personal, negative tone of the campaign, remains an elected official today.
Today, some Missouri Republicans worry the 2016 governor’s primary could be a repeat of that disaster. And despite the candidates’ promises of clean campaigns, the race already seems to be off to a rocky start.
One candidate, obsessed with the possibility of a smear campaign, took his own life last February. And because the candidates largely agree on many issues, there’s a good possibility the campaign will turn on character and reputation.