The Secretary of State has announced she will not seek a third term. In a statement, Robin Carnahan says after 8 years in the office, she plans to return to private life. She says:

“After 8 years as Secretary of State, the time will be right for me to return to private life, to gather new ideas and experiences and a fresh perspective. But my commitment to public service won’t stop, because I know the challenges facing our country can’t be solved in Washington or Jefferson City alone. It will take ideas, energy and the daily commitment and determination of all of us.”

She adds that she will remain “engaged and involved,” adding that could include running for another elected office.

Carhanan’s current term expires in 15 months. She is a breast cancer survivor, and a campaign spokesman says she is “fit, healthy and happy,” adding health was not a factor in her decision.

Carnahan’s brother, St. Louis Area Congressman Russ Carnahan issued his own statement on her decision not to run:

“I’m tremendously proud of my sister Robin’s public service. For seven years, she’s done important work protecting seniors against fraud, cutting red tape for small businesses and ensuring fair elections.”

“I encourage Missourians who share Robin’s dedication to working for the people of Missouri to select a candidate who will take up her fight and run. I remain focused on representing the St. Louis region, working to grow the economy and jobs and preparing for reelection in 2012.”

One Missouri democrat wasted no time in following-up on the news from Carnahan. Kansas City Representative Jason Kander issued a statement less than half-an-hour after hers, announcing he will run for Secretary of State:

“It is important that the next Secretary of State continues moving the office forward in the most efficient and effective manner. Our next Secretary of State must be someone who knows the difficulties small businesses face. Our next Secretary of State must be someone who has a record of fighting fraud and corruption in government. Our next Secretary of State must be beholden to no one but the voters. Our next Secretary of State must be committed to working every day to making Missouri stronger.”

Two republicans have announced for Secretary of State. St. Charles Senator Scott Rupp and Napton Senator Bill Stouffer are seeking that party’s nomination.