Former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman will not run for the U.S. Senate or the U.S. House, a move that will likely bring a sigh of relief for U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Springfield, and the bevy of Republicans running to replace him.
Steelman had been mentioned frequently as a possible candidate for the soon-to-be-vacant federal offices. But in a statement sent to reporters, the Republican said she would take a pass to spend time with her family:
Steelman's exit from the federal election cycle doesn't mean Blunt will be without a primary opponent, as state Sen. Chuck Purgason, R-Caulfield, has thrown his hat into the ring. Whether he'll be able to keep up with Blunt's campaign remains an open question.
During the last election cycle, Steelman narrowly lost the GOP nomination for governor to U.S. Rep. Kenny Hulshof, R-Columbia. She won huge margins in the southern part of the state - probably due to her stand against ethanol incentives. But she lost big in central and northeast Missouri, as well as St. Louis.
While Republican politicians generally gravitated to Hulshof, Steelman did get some backing from prominent elements of the party. This time around, nearly every faction of the GOP threw support behind Blunt's candidacy.