Wagner no longer a 'maybe,' now definitely running for U.S. House
This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 17, 2011 - Ann Wagner has declared, as expected, that she's definitely running for the U.S. House's 2nd congressional district, which takes in GOP-leaning turf in St. Louis and St. Charles counties.
Wagner, former chair of the Missouri Republican Party and former ambassador to Luxembourg, earlier had announced that she had formed an exploratory committee to consider a bid.
She made her plans definite right after U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Town and Country, announced that he is running for U.S. Senate and will not seek another term in the U.S. House. Over the winter, Wagner had considered running for the Senate seat now occupied by Democrat Claire McCaskill.
"Today I am making it official. I am a candidate for Congress from my hometown. I have been traveling the district and listening to the people in our district about the strong, effective, conservative leadership we need in the Congress," Wagner said in a statement ent out Tuesday afternoon. "The encouragement and enthusiasm I've received to run for Congress have been overwhelming.
"Like many families in our area, I am scared for the future of our country and our children and grandchildren. Our country, our families and our freedoms are being threatened by a failed leadership in Washington that is dragging us down a path of ruin. I've said, 'Enough is enough.' "
In her statement, Wagner said her chief focus will be on "job creation, economic growth, ending out-of-control spending and supporting a strong national defense."
She noted that more than 60,000 people in St. Louis and St. Charles counties are unemployed.
"The 2nd congressional district is the place where my husband Ray and I grew up, went to school, raised our children, work and go to church," Wagner said. "It is the community that has given me extraordinary opportunities to make a difference. And it is the place where I believe I can effectively represent with conservative leadership and values."