Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) announced Tuesday that he will challenge Sen. Claire McCaskill (D), joining former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman in a growing GOP field
"I am today announcing my candidacy for the United States Senate because of my deep concern about the condition of our economy, the debt, and excessive federal spending," Akin said. "I am deeply grateful for the support and encouragement I have received from fellow Missourians who share my convictions."
The congressman, who has served since 2001, has been mulling a run for weeks, and as he considered his options, other Republicans exited the race. Former Ambassador to Luxembourg Ann Wagner announced last month that she was forming an exploratory committee for Akin's 2nd District seat, anticipating that Akin would vacate the seat to challenge McCaskill. Another Republican, Ed Martin, who initially was running for the Senate, moved over to run for Akin's House seat earlier this month.
Akin has a staunchly conservative voting record in the House. As Steelman put up weak first quarter fundraising numbers, Akin impressed observers with his own figures, banking just under a million dollars at the end of March.
But Akin and Steelman may not be the only competitors in the GOP field. Wealthy businessman John Brunner, a political outsider who has never run for office before (though he has donated money to Akin's camapign in the past) is also considering a run. Brunner's ability to self-fund would alter the dynamic of the GOP race.