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Schweich decides against running for U.S. Senate

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 20, 2012 - State Auditor Tom Schweich will not run for the U.S. Senate this year, ending speculation that he would join an already crowded Republican field.

Schweich released a statement on Tuesday stating that he will continue his work as state auditor -- “a job which I enjoy, and which allows me to make a positive contribution to the people of Missouri every day,” he said.

“I will not enter the U.S. Senate primary,” Schweich said. “The decision was entirely a personal one.  We did no polling or statistical analysis.  Instead, I determined that it would be best to fulfill my term as I previously indicated I would.” 

Had he joined the Republican race to take on incumbent U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, Schweich would have had to go up against three other candidates: former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman, U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Wildwood, and businessman John Brunner.

Schweich went on to say that his entry into the contest would have made it difficult to defeat McCaskill, a first-term Democrat.

“I further determined that my entry into the Senate race would make the GOP primary situation much more contentious, and would, therefore, not increase the chances of defeating Claire McCaskill in November,” Schweich said.

Notable Republicans, including former U.S. Sen. John Danforth, had encouraged Schweich to get into the contest. And Schweich's campaign treasurer for his 2010 auditor bid even filed papers with the Internal Revenue Service to form a “527” organization.

Schweich was elected to the state auditor’s office in 2010, defeating incumbent  Susan Montee, a Democrat.

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.

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