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Steelman formally launches her U.S. Senate campaign

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 27, 2010 - Former Missouri state Treasurer Sarah Steelman opted to begin the holiday week this morning by officially launching her campaign for the U.S. Senate in 2012. Steelman did so by meshing her message with a new interactive website (sarahsteelman.com) in which she asks Missourians to offer their thoughts and ideas.

Steelman is the first Republican to announce officially a quest to unseat U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., who is completing her first term. McCaskill -- already under frequent Republican fire -- confirmed to the Beacon in early November that she was seeking re-election.

In her announcement, Steelman said, "I want to create a free market of ideas. I believe in the people of Missouri and want to hear from them about how we can reclaim the American Dream and return to the ideals that made our state and country great. This website is designed to facilitate a discussion of the issues facing our country." Steelman also has set up campaign operations on Twitter at @SteelmanCamp and on Facebook on the "Official Sarah Steelman U.S. Senate 2012" page.

On her website, Steelman offers observations on three issues: jobs, spending and education. As her announcement explains, "The website includes Twitter links for each issue and asks for comments, suggestions, and opinions. The website will often be updated with new questions about these issues as well as many others including national security, small business issues, taxes, social security, health care, and energy."

Steelman added, "My campaign is about the people of Missouri. It's about making their voices heard in Washington and fighting for their interests. I believe in the principles of limited government, individual responsibility, and sound fiscal policy. If we put power back where it belongs -- with the people, not government -- then there is nothing that we can't accomplish together."

"I am running for the U.S. Senate because I want to fight to save our state and country for our children and grandchildren. Some believe in the power of government. They believe that for every question, government has an answer and a program. This way of thought takes away our liberty, it explodes our deficit, and it ruins our economy and kills jobs. It puts chains on the spirit of the American people."

Steelman made an unsuccessful bid for governor in 2008, losing to fellow Republican Kenny Hulshof in the primary. But her campaign did cause Hulshof a few headaches and forced him to spend money. That November, Hulshof lost badly to Democrat Jay Nixon.

This time, Steelman's early announcement will likely put pressure on former Sen. Jim Talent, R-Mo., who is mulling over whether to seek to get his old job back. He narrowly lost to McCaskill in 2006.

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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