State Sen. Jane Cunningham will not run for Congress next year.
With U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-2nd district, vacating his seat in Congress to run for the U.S. Senate, Cunningham, R-St. Louis County, had expressed interest in running for the U.S. 2nd District House seat. But she told a St. Louis radio station on Wednesday morning that she would instead run for re-election for her western St. Louis County state Senate seat.
In a phone interview with Patch, Cunningham said her decision came down to where she could “have the most impact.”
“But it took a lot of time to thoroughly look at it, because running for Congress was a really nice political opportunity that was very inviting,” Cunningham said.
With nearly a decade of running--and winning--in state legislative elections, Cunningham could have been a strong contender in the race to replace Akin. Her home base of Chesterfield will be a major population center
The winner of the Republican primary could be favored to win the general election, especially because the new 2nd District includes GOP-leaning parts of St. Louis and St. Charles County. Asked if the decision was more difficult because the seat may not be open again for some time, Cunningham said “sure it did.”
“It was not an easy decision to make,” Cunningham said. “I looked at being in a body of one of 34 with filibuster power versus one vote among 435 as a freshman… I’m really interested not in what I can be, but what I can do. And in the end, where I could do the most is what moved me the most.”