Northeast Missouri Congressman Kenny Hulshof has decided to stay out of the race for the Governor’s Office in 2004 and will, instead, run again for his Congressional seat. In a statement, Hulshof says the recent death of his father has forced a decision to stay closer to home and take care of his father’s responsibilities. Political observers believe this leaves the Republican field open for Secretary of State Matt Blunt. Republican Party Executive Director John Hancock says Blunt is among several potential candidates who would be ideal for the post. Other Republicans mentioned as potential candidates include House Speaker Catherine Hanaway and Senate Leader Peter Kinder.