Gubernatorial Candidates Spar Over Tax Returns, Debate

Oct 5, 2016

Credit Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

The two Missouri gubernatorial candidates engaged in a heated back-and-forth on Tuesday, when Democratic nominee Chris Koster accused Republican Eric Greitens of waiting too long to release his tax returns.

Koster’s campaign said if Greitens doesn’t release his returns, they’ll break off negotiations about an October gubernatorial debate.

Greitens had at one point said he would release his tax returns when Chris Koster released his. Koster did so on Sep. 29, but Grietens still hasn’t.

Koster campaign spokesperson David Turner says this should be concerning for Missouri voters.

“Missourians need to ask themselves: What is Eric hiding?” Turner said, adding Greitens “should have to explain” why he decided not to be as transparent as his opponent.

Greitens campaign manager Austin Chambers released a statement calling Koster “crooked” and suggesting Koster is afraid of facing Greitens in another debate “because he knows that his plans for Missouri are so out of touch.”

Tax returns are a hot topic in the presidential campaign as well, with Republican nominee Donald Trump taking criticism for not releasing his returns. Turner says he sees a resemblance between that controversy and the Missouri gubernatorial race.

“I think there are parallels of shiftiness,” he said. “I think there are parallels of not coming clean with the voters that they are trying to be elected to represent.”

According to RealClear Politics, Koster leads Greitens by 11 percentage points with just over a month to go before Election Day.