Koster wins Missouri AG race

Chris Rizo Nov. 4, 2008, 11:34pm

Chris Koster (D)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline)-After just narrowly winning the Missouri Democratic primary, Chris Koster went on Tuesday to trounce the Republican AG nominee, Michael Gibbons.

Koster and Gibbons serve alongside one another in the state Senate. They were vying to succeed Democratic Attorney General Jay Nixon, who won the race for governor today.

Koster, who won the Democratic nomination by 829 votes, was leading Gibbons 52 percent to 47 percent with about 89 percent of precincts reporting.

Gibbons conceded the race Tuesday night.

Republicans had hoped to win the seat, which had been held by Nixon for four terms.

The Republican State Leadership Committee, which works to get GOP candidates elected to statewide offices, gave Gibbons' general election campaign a $1.1 million contribution.

The race turned particularly colorful after Koster's ex-wife, Rebecca Nassikas, began pumping money into efforts to defeat her former husband.

Nassikas and her father, Frank Bowman, gave a combined $230,000 to the Gibbons campaign on Oct. 3. During the Democratic primary she donated $200,000 to a group that produced an ad critical of her ex-husband's candidacy.

Koster, a state senator, served as Cass County prosecutor from 1994 through 2004. He was divorced from Nassikas in 2003.

"I believe my experience with Chris Koster, as an individual and as a public servant, gives me a unique perspective. His record as an individual and as a public servant have shown him to be an opportunist," Rebecca Nassikas said in a statement after she made her contribution to Gibbons.

"It took me a long time to fully understand his true character, but there were clues all along," she added.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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