Public Service Commission Chairman Kelvin Simmons, widely rumoured to be considering a run at statewide office, has decided against running in 2004. With State Treasurer Nancy Farmer running for US Senate against Christopher Bond, Democrats had hoped to persuade Simmons, a black Democrat from Kansas City, to run for that vacant office. In an interview with the Missourinet, Simmons acknowledged he has fielded a number of telephone calls from party officials the past few months. He said it was flattering, but ultimately he had to decide what was the best decision for him. Simmons noted that if he chose to run he would have to step down from the PSC, get a new job and put together what he calls a winning team. He said it just isn’t his time. Simmons has decided to step down as PSC chairman, but to remain on the commission as a member. He came to the commission in 2000 after serving on the Kansas City Council. He was appointed PSC chairman about a year later. Simmons keeps his options open concerning a political future. He said opportunities are blessings and if one comes he would consider it. The decision does leave Democrats scrambling to get a quality candidate to keep the statewide office.
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