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Haefner to forgo state senate run

  

St. Louis — Republican Rep. Marsha Haefner has decided to run for re-election in the House rather than challenge incumbent Sen. Scott Sifton in the November election.

Sifton, a Democrat, was originally seeking the attorney general post in 2016 in a primary against St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman. Last month, Sifton announced he’d decided to remain in the senate and seek re-election instead, a move that shook the campaigns of at least two House members looking to succeed him.

Haefner
Haefner

Former House member Vicki Englund, a Democrat, had already announced a senate campaign for 2016, setting her and Haefner on a collision course. Englund is now expected to run in 2016 in the House, albeit in a different district than Haefner.

“When I first decided to run for the House of Representatives in 2010, I did so because I believed the families and small businesses of South County needed a proven voice in the legislature,” Haefner said in a statement. “Since that time, I have worked tirelessly to advocate for children, protect our tax dollars and initiate welfare reform policies for Missouri. Because of my experience and hard work on these important issues, I have been put in leadership positions that have allowed me to effectively serve our community.”

While Haefner’s statement does not indicate Sifton’s move influenced her decision, it’s likely the primary factor, given the difficulty of challenging a sitting incumbent versus a campaign for an open seat. Haefner writes that “prayerful consideration and discussions with family, friends and supporters” influenced her decision to remain in the House, where she is eligible to serve for one more term and serves as chairman of the appropriations committee for Health, Mental Health, and Senior Services.