JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - An association of Missouri prison guards has endorsed Republican Dave Spence in his challenge of Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.
The Missouri Corrections Officers Association says this marks the second time the group has endorsed a gubernatorial candidate since it was formed in 2000. It also backed Republican Matt Blunt in 2004.
Association director Gary Gross said Spence's endorsement partly reflects the group's frustration that Missouri employees rank among the lowest-paid in the nation and have not received significant raises in recent years.
He said the association is not a union but serves as the official bargaining unit for more than 5,000 correctional officers around the state. The group took over that role after a 2002 vote among employees decertified the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees as their official representative.