Missouri House Speaker Tilley endorses Steelman for U.S. Senate
Missouri House Speaker Steve Tilley, who dropped his own 2012 bid for statewide office, is getting involved in this year’s elections anyway by endorsing fellow Republican Sarah Steelman for the U.S. Senate and taking on the role as her campaign chairman.
Tilley, R-Perryville, dropped out last fall as the favored candidate for lieutenant governor because of family issues.
Tilley said in a statement this afternoon that he has decided to get involved in Steelman’s campaign because "the importance of this upcoming election cannot be underestimated. Missouri simply cannot afford six more years of Claire McCaskill. Our nation cannot afford two more years of a Democrat-controlled Senate, and the fate of Republicans taking back the majority in the U.S. Senate hinges on Missouri. Sarah Steelman is the only candidate that ensures true reform in Washington and a victory over Claire."
Steelman is competing against two other Republicans in the August primary: St. Louis businessman John Brunner and U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Wildwood. All three filed for the Senate on Tuesday, the first day of candidate filing.
Steelman, Missouri’s former state treasurer, is from Rolla, Mo. Tilley’s involvement indicates that she plans to emphasize that she is from outstate – and not from the St. Louis region.
"I am truly honored to have the endorsement and support of the Missouri Speaker of the House Steve Tilley in my race for the U.S. Senate," said Steelman. "Not only has he offered his support, but he will be taking on a substantial role in my campaign for U.S. Senate as campaign chair. Speaker Tilley's proven leadership serving Missourians, coupled with his personal commitment to my campaign, is humbling and I look forward to working with him as we take back the Senate and get this country headed in the right direction."
Tilley is leaving office after this year because of term limits. He has served eight years in the Missouri House. Steelman cited their common stands on issues popular with rural Republicans. Tilley, her campaign said, “has fought tirelessly for pro-life legislation, protecting our Second Amendment rights, eliminating the franchise tax, and creating a pro-business environment that gets government off the backs and out of the way of small business.”