With a declaration that he is “ready to serve,” St. Louis businessman John Brunner kicked off his 2016 campaign for Missouri governor on Monday morning.
Technically, he kicked it off at a private reception Sunday night in St. Louis with 200 supporters present where a campaign video was shot that was released statewide on Monday.
Brunner becomes the fifth Republican in an ever-evolving GOP field. Attorney General Chris Koster is the presumptive Democratic nominee. Brunner ran for the U.S. Senate in the 2012 GOP primary, but lost to Todd Akin.
In the video, Brunner talked about the need for ethics reform and promised that if lawmakers don’t pass a comprehensive package, he’ll lead an initiative to get voters to pass one.
“I can’t be bought,” he said.
Gov. Jay Nixon once promised a similar move, but did not follow through.
On his first day in office, Brunner said he’d ban all “travel junkets” by members of his administration and ban all gifts, moves that he said would “end the revolving door of influence peddling.”
As a life-long businessman who knows who to build a company and create jobs, Brunner said he would not need an instruction manual for how to run the state.
“I know what we need to do,” he said.
And, in a line designed to show that he has some independent bonafides in a year of the outsider, Brunner insisted that he’s not part of the establishment. A Marine, Brunner has never held public office.