ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – In a statement late Friday afternoon, Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder announced he will not run for Congress in 2014.
Kinder had formed an exploratory committee to consider challenging freshman congressman and fellow Republican Jason Smith for the state’s eight congressional seat.
“This was a difficult decision. For 200 years dating back to the days of the Missouri Territory, both sides of my family have called Southeast Missouri home,” Kinder said in the statement. “The opportunity for public service in Congress during this time of national crisis for the survival of liberty is one I felt the need to explore.”
Kinder cited a lack of choices for 8th District voters in considering his run. The strongly Republican district was held by Republican Bill Emerson from 1983 to 1996 and by his wife Jo Ann Emerson from 1996 to this year. Smith was elected to finish Emerson’s term.
“No other congressional district of which I’m aware has a history this lacking in chances for the voters actually to decide. The circumstances, late last year, of the incumbent’s announcing her retirement four weeks after being re-elected guaranteed that this lamentable history would be extended yet again,” Kinder wrote.
But the lieutenant governor said the exhaustion of a congressional race would be too much and quoted the Bible in defending his decision.
“An all-out run for Congress over the next year just isn’t in the cards. Politics isn’t everything. In the midst of its sometimes frenzied demands, one feels the tug of Holy Scripture: ‘Be still and know that I am God,'” he said.
Kinder went on to applaud his efforts and those of his fellow Republicans in securing large Republican majorities in the state legislature, saying that work continues.
Calls to Lt. Gov. Kinder were not immediately returned. He said in his statement that he would not be conducting interviews Friday.