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Cunningham opts against Mo. congressional race

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri state Sen. Jane Cunningham says she will seek re-election instead of running for a St. Louis area congressional seat being vacated by Republican Todd Akin.

Cunningham's announcement Wednesday was warmly greeted by two other Republicans seeking to succeed Akin — former state party chairwoman Ann Wagner and former gubernatorial chief of staff Ed Martin.

Cunningham, of Chesterfield, had said previously she was likely to run for the U.S. House if Akin ran for the U.S. Senate. Akin has since declared his candidacy for the seat now held by Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.

But Cunningham said Wednesday that she opted against the congressional race because she believes she can have a greater influence on policy in the state Senate.

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