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Republican state senators interested in seat of retiring U.S. congressman

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(The Center Square) – Two Missouri Republicans who crafted the state’s trigger law to outlaw abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Roe decision are considering a run for U.S. Congress after a surprise retirement.

U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, who’s served Missouri’s 3rd Congressional District for eight terms, announced his retirement on Thursday. Republican Missouri state Sens. Mary Elizabeth Coleman and Nick Schroer immediately expressed interest in running for the seat in the August primary. The first day to file for the primary is Feb. 27.

“Of course I’m considering it!!” Coleman posted on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

While serving in the Missouri House of Representatives in 2019, the two legislators sponsored the state’s abortion ban trigger law. Schroer sponsored House Bill 126, known as the “Right to Life of the Unborn Child Act,” and Coleman added an amendment called the “Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act.”

Schoer told Spectrum News he was “absolutely” considering running for the seat.

“We need fighters that have the proven conservative record to get in the trenches and defend our citizens and their individual rights,” Schroer told Spectrum News. “I will be speaking with my family, supporters, and praying about if this is the right move.”

Bob Onder, a former Republican state senator who announced he’s running for lieutenant governor, was noncommittal in his interest during an interview with KWMU’s Jason Rosenbaum.

“You always have go to look at the way you can best serve,” Onder said.

Luetkemeyer didn’t provide a specific reason for retiring at this time.

“It has been as honor to serve the great people of the 3rd Congressional District and State of Missouri these past several years,” Luetkemeyer said in a statement posted on X. “However, after a lot of thoughtful discussion with my family, I have decided to not file for re-election and retire at the end of my term in December. Over the coming months, as I finish up my last term, I look forward to continuing to work with all my constituents on their myriad of issues as well as work on the many difficult and serious problems confronting our great country.”

Democrat Bethany Mann, whom Luetkemeyer defeated in the 2022 election with 65% of the vote, congratulated him on his retirement and criticized his accomplishments in a statement posted on the social media site X.

“History will not be kind to his legacy,” Mann wrote. “… Although we disagree on many issues, I share Luetkemeyer’s sentiment that Missouri’s 3rd Congressional District will see better days ahead.”

Luetkemeyer’s legacy was praised by many state Republicans.

“He brought commonsense, conservative leadership to the halls of Congress, and Missourians are better off today having had him represent them,” Missouri Republican Gov. Mike Parson said in a social media post on X.

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