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Candidates line up on 1st filing day for Aug. primary

Candidates for the U.S. Senate, Congress, Missouri General Assembly, Governor  and other statewide offices can now file to run.

Hundreds flocked to Jefferson City today and lined up outside the doors of the Secretary of State’s officeto file their paperwork. Among those filing on the first day was RepublicanPeter Kinder, who’s seeking a third term as Lt. Governor.  Kinder had originally planned to challenge incumbent DemocratJay Nixonfor Governor, but changed his mind last fall.

“I determined after (Dave) Spence got in and was spending $10 million of his own money to start, with more to follow, that an expensive primary would make it impossible for us to knock off a sitting incumbent governor," Kinder said.  "I decided to get back in this race, and I’m comfortable there.”

Meanwhile, uncertainty over a new State Senate district map has not stopped candidates from filing to run for various Senate races, although a few have said they’re waiting for a final map to be approved first.  Jane Cunningham (R, Chesterfield) currently represents the 7th District, which comprises part of western St. Louis County.  Under the proposed map, the 7th District would be moved to Kansas City – but Cunningham still filed to run in the 7th, saying she’s confident she’ll eventually be running in a St. Louis-area district.

“And if not, there are plenty of options out there for me," Cunningham said.

When asked if she would consider moving to the western part of the state, she laughed and said, "No, I’m gonna stay in my home.”

The way the map’s drawn now, Cunningham would have to challenge a fellow incumbent Republican to run in one of the St. Louis County districts.  Meanwhile, Jim Lembke (R, Lemay) says he’ll wait until the Senate map is finalized before deciding when, and for which office, he'll file.

"As this process proceeds, I'm keeping all my options open," Lembke said.

Meanwhile, someone has started a "LembkeForGov" Twitter account.  Lembke denies any connection to it, but did say he would consider running for another office.  He added, though, that he would prefer to stay in the Missouri Senate.

The filing period closes March 27, barring the passage of any legislation to extend it. 

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.