It probably won't make any national lists of congressional races to watch. But the battle between Ed Martin and U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-St. Louis, could be entertaining.
Martin kicked off his congressional bid on Wednesday in south St. Louis County. The Republican faces an uphill battle of sorts against Carnahan, a three-term lawmaker who represents parts of St. Louis City, St. Louis County, Jefferson County and Ste. Genevieve County.
I use the term "uphill" because the district is decidedly Democratic. Carnahan has won his general elections without too much trouble over the past few years, his closest one being in 2004 when he beat Republican Bill Federer with 52 percent of the vote.
But Martin is perhaps a more credible contender than Carnahan's recent opponents because he may be able to raise more money than previous candidates. He has ties, for example, to anti-abortion rights organizations that could bring financial and organizational support.
Of course, it's likely that Martin's detractors will bring up his role in Gov. Matt Blunt's administration. As Blunt's chief of staff, Martin was embroiled in a spat involving the retention of e-mails and the firing of Blunt aide Scott Eckersley. He's also been prone to make controversial statements.
But Martin's propensity to say noteworthy - and controversial - statements that could make a debate with Carnahan one of the more intriguing political events of 2010. But when and if that happens remains unknown.
One lingering question about Missouri's 2010 congressional contests: will a well-funded and well-organized Democrat will run against U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-St. Elizabeth next year?