Another plastics company CEO is trying his hand at politics. Today Dave Spence, president and CEO of St. Louis blow molder Alpha Packaging Inc., said he will pursue the Republican nomination for governor of Missouri. The official announcement will come sometime in the next few weeks. Spence will likely face a primary race against current GOP Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder. The winner will probably face the incumbent Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat. Eli Yokley of PoliticMo.com writes that Spence, "armed with his own money and Republican unease about the current field of candidates, is a major setback to Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, who has hoped for years to have an easy shot at the Republican nomination." "[I] was hoping to avoid a primary but it is not a perfect world unfortunately," Spence told PoliticMo.com. "You just can't talk about things, sometimes you have to jump in and fix them. I am doer and not one to armchair quarterback things," Alpha Packaging ranked No. 18 in Plastics News' most recent survey of North American blow molders, with sales of $189 million. If Spence wins, he could be following in the footsteps of another plastics industry political novice. In 2010, Ron Johnson, then president of sheet extruder Pacur LLC in Oshkosh, Wis., unseated Democrat Russ Feingold for a U.S. Senate seat in Wisconsin. But not all plastics executives-turned politicians have had the same degree of success. Here's a quick rundown on some recent examples:
- Jon Huntsman Jr. -- former plastics company executive, governor of Utah and ambassador to China -- is currently a candidate for the GOP nomination for president.
- Bill Binnie, the founder of Carlisle Plastics Inc. -- once a major film extruder, blow molder and injection molder -- last year lost the GOP nomination for a U.S. Senate seat in New Hampshire.
- U.S. Rep. John Boehner, the current Speaker of the House of Representatives, was previously the president of Nucite Sales, a small distributor of plastics and packaging products.
- Darrell Issa, a member of the U.S. House of Representative from Vista, Calif., also has a plastics industry background. Issa is the former CEO of Directed Electronics Inc., a business he founded that makes vehicle security systems and car audio equipment. Initially the company injection molded components for the systems, but later outsourced the work to custom molders.