ST. LOUIS • Ed Martin has finally found a race
that is just right.
After already switching his campaign from a bid for U.S. Senate
to a push for a U.S. House seat, the St. Louis Republican announced
Thursday that he is running for Missouri attorney general — a
surprise move that shifts the November ballot equation for the
After initially seeking to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire
McCaskill, Martin set his sights on an open seat in the state’s
newly redrawn 2nd Congressional District, which includes most of
St. Louis County.
But in that contest, Martin found a formidable primary foe in
former diplomat and ex-state party chairwoman Ann Wagner, who had
more than three times as much cash on hand as Martin. She also had
scooped up many of the supporters that helped Martin’s near upset
in 2010 of U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-St. Louis, in a district that
has not been friendly to Republicans.
With Martin out, Wagner’s chances of becoming the St. Louis
area’s next member of Congress grow stronger.
As it stands now, Wagner needs to defeat Dr. Randy Jotte — a
former Webster Groves councilman who kicked off his campaign
Tuesday — to secure her party’s nomination for the seat.
Martin’s departure comes days before the next deadline for
federal candidates to report their campaign finance totals,
suggesting that his fundraising numbers had not improved.
But Martin will have greater flexibility to raise money in a
state race, where, unlike congressional contests, there is no limit
on the amount of donations. He also can shift to his attorney
general campaign all the money from his federal committee, which
had $270,000 cash on hand, according to the most recent filing.
Martin abandoned his bid for U.S. Senate in May after it became
clear that U.S. Rep. Todd Akin would also enter the race. Instead,
Martin targeted Akin’s current seat. More recently, Martin also
flirted with the possibility of running for governor after Lt. Gov.
Peter Kinder stayed out of the race.
Martin, a lawyer, said he became gradually attracted to the
attorney general’s race
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