Election 2012
12:34 pm
Tue February 22, 2011

Emerson says she'll pass on 2012 U.S. Senate run

U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Cape Girardeau has announced today she's not going to pursue a seat in the U.S. Senate in 2012, the St. Louis Beacon reports.

Emerson said she was considering a run earlier this month. This was after former Sen. Jim Talent decided against a campaign and a few donors reached out to gauge her interest, POLITICO's David Catanese reports.

The Beacon published portions of Emerson's statement:

"I'm honored to have been approached by so many encouraging people about the opportunity to serve our state in the U.S. Senate,'' Emerson said in today's statement. "I gave the matter a significant amount of consideration, talked it over with my family, and consulted with my trusted advisers and staff.  We talked about what I can do as a junior member of the Senate and what I can do as a senior member of the U.S. House, and I decided the best possible way to serve Southern Missouri - as well as the entire state - is from my current post.  We have a lot of challenges as a district, a state and a nation, and I've chosen where I can best be effective right now, promoting smaller government, working to create jobs, and being a reasonable voice in our often-unreasonable capital," Emerson said.

POLITICO's Catanese also says that although Emerson "was seen as a formidable challenger to Sen. Claire McCaskill, [Emerson] is well-aware her moderate profile would cause her problems in a primary that already includes two more conservative candidates."

What part of Emerson's "moderate profile" would be a problem?

"Republican sources say that Emerson was expected to come under fire from Missouri social conservatives because of her support for ending former President George W. Bush's restrictions on embryonic stem cell research," the Beacon reports.

So, with Emerson out of the running, who's left in the GOP-challenger crowd?

Ed Martin, who announced his run Jan. 31, and Sarah Steelman, who stated her intentions in December 2010.

Former Missouri state Republican party chair Ann Wagner is also in the mix, as "spokesperson John Hancock said she's still 'seriously considering' a bid," according to POLITICO's Catanese.

Catanese also says "Wagner has indicated she's not interested in a down-ballot race, but informed GOPers say she hasn't completely ruled out challenging six-term Rep. Todd Akin in a primary."