Rep. Wagner not planning on 2018 Senate run - KMOV.com

Rep. Wagner not planning on 2018 Senate run

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House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. administers the House oath of office to Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., during a mock swearing in ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. administers the House oath of office to Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., during a mock swearing in ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com/CNN) – Rep. Ann Wagner says she will not run for Sen. Claire McCaskill’s seat in 2018.

The Republican issued the following statement Monday morning:

Those who know me well know I put my family and my community first. While I am grateful for the incredible support and encouragement I have received from across Missouri to run for United States Senate, I am announcing today my intention to run for re-election to the United States House of Representatives in 2018.

McCaskill, who became the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from Missouri in 2006, has said she plans to run again in 2018.

McCaskill won reelection to the Senate in 2012 against challenger Todd Akin, whose campaign was derailed after his controversial comments about "legitimate rape" and abortion. McCaskill defeated Akin by nearly 15 points, though she had been expected to struggle in the race prior to Akin's self-destruction. Her seat is seen as among the most vulnerable for incumbent Democrats in 2018.

Wagner a is member of the House foreign affairs committee and serves as the chair of the oversight and investigations subcommittee of the House financial services committee -- positions which afford her meaningful influence in the chamber. She was viewed as top potential challenger for McCaskill.

Still, Wagner's decision to forego a Senate bid -- in a solidly red state the last few cycles -- also reflects the reluctance of some Republicans to raise their political profile in what looks to be a caustic and challenging election cycle. Potentially strong Republican challengers in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Indiana -- all states Trump won -- have so far declined bids.

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