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Schweich will not run for U.S. Senate

Missouri state Auditor Tom Schweich.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)
Missouri state Auditor Tom Schweich.

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich has decided not to enter the Republican race against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Schweich said in a statement Tuesday that he determined his candidacy would have made the Republican Senate primary more contentious, and thus would not have helped Republican chances of defeating McCaskill in November.

The Senate race already includes three prominent Republicans - former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman, U.S. Rep. Todd Akin and businessman John Brunner.

Earlier this month, Schweich supporters set up a political committee for a potential Senate bid and released a public letter encouraging him to run.

Schweich said Tuesday that he had conducted no polling about the Senate race. He cited a pledge he made in 2010 to serve a full four-year term as auditor.