Cunningham endorses Steelman for U.S. Senate, cites abortion issue as key reason
State Sen. Jane Cunningham is endorsing fellow Republican Sarah Steelman for the U.S. Senate and says the abortion issue is the chief reason.
Cunningham, R-Chesterfield, said that the U.S. Senate – like the Missouri Senate – lacks many women who are “consistently pro-life.” In the Senate, Cunningham singled out only Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-New Hampshire, who was elected in 2010.
“As one of only two pro-life women in the Missouri Senate, I know how critical it is to have the pro-life female perspective coupled with the ability and experience to fight for life,” Cunningham said. “Sending Sarah to Washington would double this number and make clear that Missouri does not buy the line that so-called women's issues all require liberal, big government answers.”
Cunningham said in an interview that the Missouri Senate could end up with no women abortion opponents, unless Rep. Ellen Brandom, R-Sikeston, wins her primary bid for the state Senate in southeast Missouri’s 27th District.
Cunningham noted that she and Sen. LuAnn Ridgeway, R-Smithville, are both leaving the chamber at the end of this year. (Ridgeway is term-limited, and Cunningham’s district got moved across the state during redistricting.)
As for Steelman, Cunningham said she had been consistent on the abortion issue during her tenure in the state Senate.
Cunningham’s endorsement might help Steelman in west St. Louis County, where many conservative Republicans have been siding with one of Steelman’s rivals, U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Wildwood.
Cunningham praised Akin, saying that he – like Steelman – had been “tested and proven.” But what made the difference, said Cunningham, was Steelman’s record as state treasurer – and the possibility that Steelman could be a strong female voice against abortion in the U.S. Senate.