JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) __ A staff member for Missouri Republican Congressman Todd Akin is leaving to become the state director for the conservative group Americans for Prosperity.

Patrick Werner has been Akin’s district director in the St. Louis area since shortly after Akin took office in 2001. He is leaving as Akin ramps up for a 2012 campaign for the U.S. Senate
seat now held by Democrat Claire McCaskill.

Americans for Prosperity is a limited-government group founded by billionaire oil brothers David and Charles Koch . It spent heavily in last year’s elections and helped organize some tea party events in Missouri.

Before joining Akin’s office, Werner worked for former Sen. Kit Bond and on Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.


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