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Columbia Missourian

Rep. Hulshof expected to make Mo. governor bid

January 28, 2008 | 8:43 p.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY — U.S. Rep. Kenny Hulshof of Missouri’s 9th district is expected to announce Tuesday that he will run for governor, The Associated Press has learned.

Hulshof would become the third Republican to enter the race after GOP Gov. Matt Blunt’s surprise announcement last week that he will not seek a second term in the November elections.

Two Republican sources familiar with Hulshof’s plans confirmed that Hulshof is expected announce his gubernatorial candidacy. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk publicly about Hulshof’s intentions.

Republican consultant John Hancock, who is working for Hulshof’s campaign, said the congressman planned to “make a major announcement tomorrow about the future of Missouri,” but Hancock declined to elaborate.

Hulshof spokesman Scott Baker declined to comment on the announcement. Baker said Hulshof was flying back to Washington from Missouri on Monday night.

Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder and Treasurer Sarah Steelman already have jumped into the suddenly wide-open Republican primary for governor. Attorney General Jay Nixon so far is the only Democrat in the race, though a spokesman for Secretary of State Robin Carnahan has said she is thinking about it.

Hulshof, 49, had seriously considered running for governor in 2004 but deferred to Blunt. A former prosecutor, Hulshof was first elected to the House in 1996. Last year, he was a leading candidate to become president of the University of Missouri System, a post he then called “one of the very few jobs for which I would consider leaving Congress.” But university curators ultimately passed over Hulshof.