Democrat Baker enters race for Missouri lt. gov.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Former Missouri House member Judy Baker has entered the Democratic race for lieutenant governor.

Baker, of Columbia, announced her candidacy Thursday while pledging to champion initiatives for seniors and veterans.

Baker served in the state House from 2005 to 2009 and lost a 2008 bid for Congress to Republican Blaine Luetkemeyer (LOOT'-keh-my-er). She recently resigned from President Barack Obama's administration as a regional director of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Two other Democrats already are in the race — former state Auditor Susan Montee (mon-TEE') and conservation commissioner Becky Plattner.

Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder also is being challenged within his own party. Republican state Sen. Brad Lager and attorney Mike Carter are running. Republican state Sen. Luann Ridgeway also has said she is likely to run.

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