Top statehouse leader to chair Sarah Steelman's US Senate campaign

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 | 3:04 p.m. CST; updated 3:55 p.m. CST, Wednesday, February 29, 2012

JEFFERSON CITY — Republican U.S. Senate candidate Sarah Steelman has recruited the speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives to serve as her campaign chairman.

Steelman said Wednesday that House Speaker Steve Tilley not only will serve as chairman but will play a substantial role in her campaign.

Tilley said in a statement distributed by Steelman that he decided to get involved in the Republican Senate primary because he believes Steelman is the only candidate likely to beat Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill and bring change to Washington.

Also in the Republican race are U.S. Rep. Todd Akinand businessman John Brunner, who is the chairman of Vi-Jon, a cosmetics and health care products manufacturer.

Both are from the St. Louis area. Steelman is a former state treasurer and state senator from Rolla.

Tilley, who is term-limited, had planned to run for lieutenant governor but dropped out last fall.

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