© 2023 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Wagner chooses her home as launching pad for congressional quest

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 10, 2011 - Former Missouri Republican chair and ambassador Ann Wagner apparently hopes to send a message about her roots with her plans to launch her campaign for Congress from her home in Ballwin.

Wagner announced Thursday that she plans to kick off her campaign July 7 with a gathering at her home -- instead of the standard venue of a hall, restaurant or public park.

Wagner said in a statement she plans to emphasize her commitment to bring "strong, effective and conservative leadership to Washington, D.C. and the 2nd congressional district."

Her decision to use her residence would appear to be a jab at the only other official candidate for the 2nd District seat, Ed Martin, who lives in the city of the St. Louis, outside the 2nd District. Martin, a lawyer who narrowly lost a bid for the 3rd District last fall, has said that he and his family plan to have a home within the 2nd sometime next year. Candidates for the U.S. House are not required to live within their districts, but it is usually politically prudent to do so.

The third expected candidate for the 2nd -- state Sen. Jane Cunningham, R-Chesterfield -- has yet to announce when she will launch her bid for the post, which is being vacated by Republican incumbent Todd Akin, R-Wildwood, who is running for the U.S. Senate in 2012.

Republican sources say that more candidates are expected before filing offically gets under way next February.

Wagner has emphasized that she has been a county resident for decades and a lifelong resident of the region -- except for those three-plus years that she was the U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg, under President George W. Bush.

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.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.