GOP looks for new senate candidate

Friday, March 26, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 12:58 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

Local Republicans have until Tuesday to find a new candidate for the Missouri Senate, after Kat Cunningham announced that she is dropping out of the 19th District Senate race.

Cunningham said that unforeseen circumstances have forced her to devote her time to running her business, Moresource. The Columbia company handles administrative services for other businesses and was founded by Cunningham in 1994.

She had hoped to succeed Ken Jacob, who is giving up his seat because of term limits and is running for lieutenant governor. Rep. Chuck Graham, D-Columbia, and former Columbia state Rep. Tim Harlan are the Democratic candidates for the seat.

The 19th District represents Boone and Randolph counties. The seat will be up for election on Nov. 2. The deadline for a candidate to file with Secretary of State Matt Blunt is 5 p.m. Tuesday.

The 19th Senatorial District Election Committee is looking at prospects to replace Cunningham and could make a decision as early as today, said A.J. McRoberts, who is the Sixth Ward committeeman of the Boone County Republican Central Committee.

Neither McRoberts nor Cunningham would give names of potential candidates. No one on the election committee could be reached for comment Thursday.

McRoberts said he didn’t think a new candidate would be at much of a disadvantage because the campaign hadn’t really gotten off the ground yet.

Cunningham said she was disappointed that she wouldn’t be able to run, but said she may run for political office in the future.

“I sure hope this door opens up for me again,” Cunningham said. “I haven’t hung up my hat yet.”

She said that whoever replaces her could win the district.

“Congressman Hulshof, Kit Bond, Jim Talent, George Bush — they’ve all done well in the 19th District,” she said. “I truly believe that it’s time for a Republican to win.”

Cunningham announced her candidacy in November.

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