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Steelman: No race for Senate or Congress in 2010

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 15, 2009 - After months of speculation -- at times, heated -- over Republican Sarah Steelman's political plans, the former state treasurer finally made it official Tuesday night.

She's not running for anything in 2010. Not for the U.S. Senate. Not for Roy Blunt's soon-to-be-vacated U.S. House seat in southwest Missouri.

Steelman, of Rolla, said in a statement that she has "unfinished work'' at home, raising her youngest son with her husband, David Steelman, a prominent lawyer and fellow former legislator. 

"Michael is 14 and I want to raise him here in Missouri – in the heart of this country, not in Washington D.C.,'' she said, noting that her two oldest sons are in college.

Sarah Steelman had made an unsuccessful bid for governor in 2008, losing in the GOP primary to then-U.S. Rep. Kenny Hulshof, who was defeated last November by the Democrat, now-Gov. Jay Nixon, who then was attorney general.

In her statement, she acknowledged what many political activists suspected:

"For months I have considered running for the U.S. Senate and I have been honored and gratified by people throughout the state and country who have encouraged me to run," she said. "I loved serving the people of Missouri as State Treasurer and a State Senator, and I struggled with my decision because I know there is much work that needs to be done, or undone, in Washington."

But after explaining her decision to focus on her family, she left the door open to a possible future run for office:

“...To everything there is a season. This is my time to work hard as a private citizen,along with the growing number of like-minded citizens, to restore the conservative principles of freedom that made this the greatest country in the world."

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.