Right now, the GOP is represented in the race by incumbent Peter Kinder, and three other candidates, Brad Lager, Mike Carter, and Charles Kullmann. Polling in January showed that Kinder had a strong lead against the others, with Lager coming in as a distant second; Mike Carter close behind.
Unless he hopes to yet again endeavor on a losing effort to attain
statewide name recognition (lost 2008 Treasurer campaign to superior candidate
Clint Zweifel), the numbers indicate that Brad Lager's hopes of eking away at Kinder's lead are an exercise in
futility as long as Carter maintains and/or improves his position in the polls.
Carter has a strong Ron-Paul following that continues to grow --- ensuring
Carter’s firm grasp on those undecided voters that well-funded Lager so badly
Oddly, given that "Lt. Governor" serves as the prima facie “down-ballot” race, another difficulty in Lager's path is the similarity of names in the GOP's candidates Peter Kinder, Brad Lager, and Mike Carter. Name similarity can have a significant impact on election results when many voters select by party rather than basing their decision on actual knowledge of the candidates. This establishment problem reared its head in Illinois’ 2010 election cycle for Lt. Governor with Scott Cohen. People just don’t pay attention to these meaningless offices.
Brad Lager's campaign finance report filed earlier this month showed an impressive cash-on-hand budget of over $1.1 million due in large part to contributions from an unusually low number of supporters. Mike Carter has publicly announced that he has no intention of accepting donations for the August GOP primary and hopes to keep campaign expenses to a bare minimum. Regardless of this, Lager has no hopes of winning as long as Carter remains in the race. Some say that Lager could raise 50 million and have no significant impact.
Carter’s most powerful ally is the fact that he doesn’t care if he
wins. Recently Carter conferred with his
co-candidate, 90-year-old Charles Kullman, about criss-crossing the state
together to conserve resources. It
appears Kullman is in a powerful position too because he cares not if he wins
Carter is an Independent-minded Republican candidate who has cast votes for Ross Perot and Ron Paul. He is a former judge, real estate attorney, Senior Lecturer for the University of Missouri, corporate counsel, and Director at the St. Louis Board of REALTORS. He supports Ron-Paul politics, non-partisan elections, advocates smaller government, abolishment of irresponsible spending, and a ban on unnecessary governmental intrusion into the private lives of citizens.