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story.lead_photo.caption Rik Combs Photo by Submitted photo

The 2020 election for Missouri's governor is so far a four-way competition after Cole County resident Rik Combs' announcement that he intends to run as a Libertarian.

Combs is in the race for governor with incumbent Republican Gov. Mike Parson, Democratic State Auditor Nicole Galloway and Republican state Rep. Jim Neely, of Cameron.

Parson is seeking a full term as governor, after he succeeded former Gov. Eric Greitens after Greitens' resignation last year.

Combs' campaign proposals to "slash taxes, cut spending (and) protect private property" stem from his political philosophy "based on (a) free enterprise system, limited government and liberty. Force the government to live within its means — like Missourians do — and watch the state grow by unleashing the potential of its citizens," according to his campaign's news release.

More specifically, in addition to state government being too large in terms of its budget, he would like to get rid of personal property taxes, and he does not like an income tax either, he added Monday.

"I think the added revenue would come back to the state by virtue of sales taxes," he said.

Combs is the treasurer of the Stop Taking Our Personal Property Committee. The group announced earlier this year it's seeking to eliminate property taxes through an initiative petition the group hoped to get placed on the Nov. 3, 2020, ballot as "Constitutional Amendment to Article X, Relating to Personal Property Taxes."

Combs said the STOPP campaign is still moving forward and he would continue to work with it — separate from his campaign for governor.

The committee has so far raised more than $5,400, with more than $3,500 on hand as of the latest quarterly report filed this month with the Missouri Ethics Commission.

Combs did not have an update Monday on how many signatures the group has collected and how many more it needs to place its petition on the ballot. The group must collect signatures from at least 8 percent of the registered voters in at least six of Missouri's eight congressional districts in order to get its petition on the ballot.

Combs established his "Combs for Missouri" campaign for the governor race Thursday. His wife, Jill Brady Combs, is the treasurer for his governor campaign. No financial data for the campaign was immediately available online.

As of the most recent quarterly reports filed in July with the Missouri Ethics Commission, Parson's campaign had raised more than $1.6 million in total for the 2020 election, Galloway's about $232,000 and Neely's about $86,700.

Rik Combs has previously run as one of five Republican candidates for the 59th District seat that state Rep. Rudy Veit, R-Wardsville, ultimately won.

Combs grew up on a cattle farm and served as a senior officer in the U.S. Air Force for parts of three decades before retiring, then serving as CEO for a Gainesville, Florida, consulting firm from 2006-09. He and his wife returned to Jefferson City in 2009, when she began working at the Westside Veterinary Clinic.

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