Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a Republican, launched an exploratory committee for Missouri's 8th District on Monday, according to the local press, potentially setting up a GOP primary with the newest member of the House.
If Kinder runs, he would face Rep. Jason Smith, a Republican who won an under-the-radar special election for the seat in June. Smith succeeded former Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo., who announced her resignation from Congress shortly after the November elections to take a job at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
Kinder sought the GOP nomination in the special election for the House; however, a nominating committee chose Smith instead.
Smith, who was speaker pro tem of the state House before being elected to Congress, told the local press that he would be surprised if Kinder entered the race.
"Peter knows if he left the lieutenant governor's office, Gov. Nixon would appoint a Democrat to replace him," Smith told the Southeast Missourian newspaper. "Peter has been in politics for over 20 years, he knows better than to give up his office to a Democrat. Also, I have always considered Peter a friend and I supported him in his primary last year and he has supported me in past elections. Friends just don't run against friends."