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Harris steps down from leadership post

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State Rep. Jeff Harris (D-Columbia)

By AP/KBIA

Columbia, MO – The top-ranking Democrat in the Missouri House is stepping down from thatleadership post to run for state attorney general.

Jeff Harris, a three-term Democrat from Columbia, says he believes he'll have a better chance at winning if he focuses on his campaign and is not bound to the needs of what he calls a "time-consuming" job.

Current Attorney General Jay Nixon is not seeking re-election because he's instead running for governor.

When Jeff Harris became the Minority Leader in 2004, the Democrats were the minority in the house and the senate, and had just lost the governorship.

It was a very difficult time to take over, and I was honored at the time that my colleagues turned to me in our time of need," Harris said Tuesday.

Harris will continue as Minority Leader until November. So far no other democrat has officially jumped into the race for Attorney General. On the republican side, Senate President Pro Tem Michael Gibbons of Kirkwood and Sen. Chris Koster of Harrisonville said they plan to run.

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