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By Phillip Stucky
Republican Rep. Ann Wagner of Missouri officially announced she would not run against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill Monday.
The sitting representative was being groomed by Republican leadership as a potential opponent to McCaskill, who is up for reelection during the 2018 midterm election season.
“Those who know me well know I put my family and my community first. While I am grateful for the incredible support and encouragement I have received from across Missouri to run for United States Senate, I am announcing today my intention to run for re-election to the United States House of Representatives in 2018,” Wagner told the Washington Examiner.
Running for Senate is a big risk. If she failed, she would be forced to lay down her current seat where she serves as chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, she also sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
McCaskill easily defeated Republican challenger Todd Akin in 2012, a year in which Republicans made significant gains in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. She led with 54.8 percent of the vote, compared to Akin’s 39.1 percent.
Alternatively, Wagner’s seat is considered relatively safe. She won reelection in 2016 with 58.5 percent of the vote, which was down slightly from her 2014 return of 64.1 percent.
The University of Virginia’s Center for Politics rated the Missouri Senate race as a toss-up, indicating that no matter who runs, it is likely to be a tight.