The floor leader of the state senate says the governorship and the lieutenant-governorship are not for him.
St. Joseph Senator Charlie Shields says he was contacted right after Governor Blunt pulled out of his re-election bid and was encouraged to run for Governor. After a week of thinking it over, the answer is "no."
He says three strong candidates are running for Governor now. Instead of becoming a fourth candidate, Shields says he hopes two of the other three drop out instead of causing a primary that he thinks would be "hurtful" for the Republican Party.
He says the trio’s candidacy means three Republican office-holders are leaving their elective positions to run for the Governorship. He says he’d rather see two of the candidates run for re-election, leaving only one Republican position vulnerable. Those running for Governor are Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder, State Treasurer Sarah Steelman, and Congressman Kenny Hulshof. All three are incumbents and all three are passing up chances for re-election to go for the bigger prize.
Shields says some people have suggested he run for Lieutenant Governor. But he says he can do more if he becomes the next President pro-Tem of the Senate, a position that will give him hands-on influence on legislation. He says he’s especially interested in pushing legislation on higher education, early childhood education, and healthcare.