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Republicans Gather for Lincoln Days

There are now two republicans running for governor of Missouri. The field narrowed from three to two Friday night when Lt. Governor Peter Kinder told fellow Republicans he would not continue in the race for governor. Kinder's announcement came during Lincoln Days, a Republican gathering in Springfield. KSMU's Emily Nash reports.

Over eight hundred Republicans gathered in Springfield this weekend for the annual Lincoln Days.

Friday night, Lt. Governor Peter Kinder announced he would no longer run for governor.

Instead, he will run for re-election.

That leaves State Treasurer Sarah Steelman and Congressman Kenny Hulshof left in the Republican primary race for governor.

Steelman says Kinder's announcement doesn't affect her campaign.

"You know I am not running because of another candidate, I am running because I believe in the people of this state and want to work hard for them."

Steelman say having a Republican primary will bring needed discourse on the issues.

"I believe that you know. You can flesh out ideas, and find out what your candidate believes and you know, the person who has the best ideas is the one who is going to win."

Congressman Kenny Hulshof says the primary won't divide the party.

"You know we are a party of ideas and as long as we stay focused on those ideas, the more the merrier. We will get to talk about what the challenges are for the state, and how do we solve them."

He says, since Governor Matt Blunt's surprise announcement that he would not run for re-election, the Republican Party has been trying to re-group for the upcoming election.

Hulshof says this weekend event has shown Party resilience.

"My fear coming in here was that the party faithful would be a little down, a little demoralized, because we think so highly of Matt and the tough decisions he has had to make. People are really energized again. Even more than I think the presidential politics."

Republican Representative of Springfield Bob Dixon says having multiple candidates run for an office only makes a party stronger.

"I think its great. Lets get involve, lets support our candidate, and after the primaries, the party is actually stronger for it. And its really the same on both sides of the political spectrum. In the end, the community, the state, and the country is better off for it."

Attorney General Jay Nixon is the only Democratic candidate running for governor.