Jay Nixon (D)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline)-A Democratic candidate for Missouri attorney general has begun running an ad that some say suggests that outgoing Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon backs his candidacy.

The television spot, being run by state Rep. Jeff Harris, D-Columbia, features a headshot of Nixon and a comment he once made of Harris, the House Democratic leader.

"Jay Nixon said it best: 'Jeff Harris would make an excellent attorney general,'" the ad says.

In a statement Sunday, Nixon, who is running for governor, without mentioning Harris, said he felt compelled to respond to an ad airing in the Democratic primary for attorney general.

"We have three strong candidates in the Democratic primary race for Attorney General. I am not endorsing any one candidate over the others," Nixon said.

Harris and fellow Democratic state Reps. Margaret Donnelly, D-Richmond Heights, and Chris Koster are fighting for their party's AG nomination in a particularly bitter primary race.

The winner of the Aug. 5 Democratic primary will go up against Republican AG candidate Senate President Pro Tem Michael Gibbons, R-Kirkwood, in November.

"I have known Margaret Donnelly since 1988. During those 20 years she has been a champion for Missouri families. Missouri would be lucky to have Margaret Donnelly as its next attorney general," Nixon's statement said.

As for Koster, Nixon said the Harrisonville Democrat "has served the people of Missouri for many years and has a long record as a prosecutor. This experience would serve him well as attorney general."

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

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