Dave Spence, the former owner of St. Louis blow molder Alpha Packaging Inc., today won the Republican primary to become the next governor of Missouri. Spence stepped down as president and CEO of the packaging supplier last year to run for governor. He won the Aug. 7 primary easily -- at 11 p.m. he had about 260,000 votes according to Politco.com, about 60 percent of those tallied in the GOP primary. The next highest candidate in the field of four had about 70,000 votes. Spence will face Democratic incumbent Gov. Jay Nixon, who also easily won his Aug. 7 primary election. Alpha, which makes bottles for nutritional, pharmaceutical, personal care, household chemical, and niche food and beverage markets, is owned by private equity firm Irving Place Capital. For you political junkies, Spence is the latest in a line of plastics company executives who have run for office. Here's a list of some of the most successful:
- 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.
- Jon Huntsman Jr. -- former plastics company executive, governor of Utah and ambassador to China -- earlier this year dropped out of the GOP race for president. But it's likely that we'll hear from him again.
- 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.
- U.S. Rep Jeff Denham is a co-owner of Denham Plastics LLC, a reseller of agricultural harvesting containers such as bulk bins, pallets and totes. His warehouse in Salinas, Calif., was heavily damaged in a fire last week.
- 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.