Voting booths are illuminated by sunlight as voters cast their ballots at a polling place on Nov. 6, 2012.
Photo by Jae C. Hong/AP

The twists and turns of Missouri’s gubernatorial race

Earlier this year, the Missouri’s open gubernatorial race took a tragic turn when state Auditor Tom Schweich (R) committed suicide. Soon after, state Sen. Mike Parson (R), who had vowed to skip the race, threw his hat into the ring, only to recently drop out again.
 
In the meantime, one of the five Republicans still in the race, state Sen. Bob Dixon, is claiming to be a former gay person. TPM reported yesterday:
Dixon, who is now married to a woman and had three children with her, revealed in 1991 that he had identified as gay for five years until a “religious experience” led him to be straight again, according to a 1992 report from the Springfield News-Leader, which was resurfaced last week by the Riverfront Times. […]
 
In 1991, Dixon told attendees at a Springfield, Mo., city council meeting about his time as a gay man, but did not elaborate on his “religious experience,” which he said happened in October 1988, according to the News-Leader.
Dixon is now running on a statewide platform that includes opposition to marriage equality.
 
Missouri’s Springfield News-Leader reported late yesterday that Dixon says he was abused as a child, “and this abuse led to the confusion he felt about his sexuality,” leading him to identify as gay for five years.
 
In a statement, the Republican lawmaker added, “I have put the childhood abuse, and the teenage confusion behind me. What others intended for harm has resulted in untold good. I have overcome, and will not allow evil to win.”
 
It’s worth emphasizing that there is literally no reason to believe homosexuality is the result of child abuse , and similarly, there is no science reason to believe someone can switch from gay to straight as a result of a “religious experience.”
 
There will be plenty of interesting gubernatorial races next year. At this point, not one will be quite as unusual as Missouri’s.
 
Incumbent Gov. Jay Nixon (D) is wrapping up his second term and is prevented by term-limits from seeking re-election.
 

Missouri

The twists and turns of Missouri's gubernatorial race