Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder on Thursday broke his two-day silence on his reported ties to a woman described as a former Penthouse Pet, calling her story “bizarre” and “not true.”
Kinder, a Republican who is expected next month to announce his plans to run for Missouri governor, made his comments in an email to reporters. He was not available for comment, and his campaign declined to elaborate on his six-sentence statement.
In the statement, Kinder blamed Democrats for a story that first appeared Tuesday in the St. Louis-based Riverfront Times. That story, based on an interview with a woman identified as Tammy Chapman, described Kinder as a regular customer of Chapman’s when she worked as an “entertainer” at the Diamond Cabaret in Sauget, Ill., in the 1990s. Kinder is single and has never married.
“Like most people, I am not proud of every place I have been, but this woman’s bizarre story is not true,” Kinder wrote.
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He blamed Democrats “who have tried to use these tactics against me in the past, and they have failed.”
Kinder said that Gov. Jay Nixon, who would be Kinder’s Democratic opponent, “may want to make up false stories about the past, but I, like most Missourians, remain focused on the issues that are important to Missourians, like jobs and education.”
Caitlin Legacki, a spokeswoman for the Missouri Democratic Party, said she wondered why it took Kinder so long to respond “if these disturbing reports are so untrue.”
“Peter Kinder is obviously in a pretty sad and desperate place right now,” Legacki said. “Unfortunately, Kinder would rather blame others for his own unusual and inappropriate behavior than take responsibility and offer a real explanation.”
In an interview with The Kansas City Star, Chapman said that the Democratic Party had nothing to do with the Riverfront Times story and that she didn’t seek anyone out.
“I was asked questions, and I answered them,” she said.
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