Carnahan Announces Senate Bid

Posted February 3, 2009 at 11:09am

Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D) announced Tuesday that she will run for retiring Sen. Kit Bond’s (R-Mo.) seat, a move that sets up a competitive race in the Show Me State next year.

Bond announced his retirement plans last month, creating a wide-open race to replace him. Carnahan made her announcement, which has been widely expected, in an online video.

“Our country is facing tough economic times and threats to our security like never before,” said Carnahan, looking straight into the camera. “It’s time we had elected leaders ready to stop the political bickering and start solving problems.”

Carnahan was the favorite of national Democrats to run for the seat. Not only does she have the same last name as a former governor, former Senator and current Congressman in Missouri politics, but she enjoys statewide name recognition in her own right. According to a release from her campaign, she was re-elected in 2008 with more votes than any candidate in the history of the state.

Carnahan is the daughter of the late Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan (D) and former Sen. Jean Carnahan (D-Mo.) and is the sister of Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.).

Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) is mulling a Senate bid, but the former House Minority Whip has yet to make any formal announcements. Former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman (R) and former Sen. Jim Talent (R) are also looking at the race.

Meanwhile in other Missouri news, former Gov. Matt Blunt (R) is joining downtown lobby shop Cassidy and Associates, the firm announced Tuesday, quieting rumors — for now, at least — that the political scion might be planning to run for his father’s seat in 2010.

Matt Blunt, the son of Roy Blunt, will be a senior consultant at the firm. The former naval officer, 38, unexpectedly announced in January 2008 that he would not seek a second term after a prolonged battle with Democrats over allegations of ethical lapses by his administration — a rift that Cassidy suggested in its release has since passed.

“He will be a strong addition to our team as Washington embraces a new spirit of post-partisanship,” Cassidy chief executive office and former Rep. Marty Russo (D-Ill.) said in statement Tuesday.

After the younger Blunt stepped aside, Republicans ultimately nominated then-Rep. Kenny Hulshof (R-Mo.) to face popular state Attorney General Jay Nixon (D), who crushed the Congressman 58 percent to 40 percent in November.

Roy Blunt has been a persistent subject of retirement rumors since stepping down from GOP leadership at the beginning of 111th Congress. If he runs for Senate or retires in 2010, Matt Blunt has been viewed as a possible candidate to run in his father’s very conservative southwestern Missouri district.