Senator Kit Bond’s decision not to seek reelection in 2010 has started the talk about possible Republican candidates. Former U.S. Senator Jim Talent is certainly considering a run. “When the shock wears off I’m gonna consider it,” says Talent. “I enjoy having an impact in public life and … this is an opportunity that I’m gonna look at carefully.”

Southwest Missouri Congressman Roy Blunt, the former Minority Whip in the U.S. House, is said to be considering. That word came from his son, outgoing Governor Matt Blunt, who issued a statement calling his father “the leading candidate.” The Governor says he talked with his father in general following the Bond announcement, but concedes he has had “no real strategic discussion.”

Outgoing State Treasurer Sarah Steelman is considering a run. In an interview with KY3 TV in Springfield, Steelman took a shot at both Senator Bond and Congressman Blunt, saying, “Senator Bond and Congressman Blunt represent the old ways of Washington. I don’t think people can tolerate that.” Bond endorsed Steelman’s opponent, Congressman Kenny Hulshof, in the Republican primary for Governor.

Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder is another prominent Republican who ran, briefly, for Governor before withdrawing to seek reelection. Asked whether he is thinking of running, Kinder would not say, preferring to praise Bond today and to put off any announcement until later. In making that statement, Kinder responded to the Steelman comments without mentioning the State Treasurer by name. “I’m not going to join those with what I think is rather unseemly haste at taking pot shots at such a distinguished public servant or announcing my own plans today.”