Robin Carnahan says she won't seek re-election as Missouri secretary of state in 2012.
Meanwhile, a Democratic Missouri lawmaker says he will run for secretary of state, seeking to replace Carnahan.
Rep. Jason Kander, of Kansas City, said he was entering the race. Kander's announcement came about a half-hour after Carnahan announced she would not seek a third term.
Kander, a lawyer, is 30 years old and was first elected to the House in 2008. He also has served as a military intelligence officer in Afghanistan.
Republican state Sens. Scott Rupp, of Wentzville, and Bill Stouffer, of Napton, already had announced plans to run for secretary of state before Carnahan's announcement.
Here's the press release sent out by Carnahan's office Friday afternoon:
I'm proud of the success we've had in the Secretary of State's office by staying focused on things that matter for Missourians.
We've saved taxpayers money, while still providing terrific services to Missourians. We've cut red tape and costs for small businesses so they can focus on growing their businesses and creating jobs. And we have helped consumers and investors learn how to better protect themselves, and recovered more than $10 billion for victims of financial fraud.
We've made Missouri history come alive by making our state's precious historical resources available on-line to hundreds of millions of people all around the world. And, despite the efforts of some to let politics interfere with Missourians right to vote, we've protected the rights of voters and the integrity of our elections so that we can all have faith in the fairness of the results.
Without question, serving the state and people that I love has been the honor of my life. Your friendship and support over the years have given me the strength to stand up to challenges, both political and personal. But after careful reflection, I've decided not to run for a 3rd term as Secretary of State.
Many who step away from public life cite a desire to "spend more time with family." I've already learned to cherish every moment spent with family and friends, because I know that life is precious and unpredictable.
But I've also learned that service can and does take many forms, and elective office is just one of them.
I watched as my father moved regularly between elective office and private life...always devoted to his family and to making a positive difference in the community. He served on church boards, the local school board and helped the Red Cross and countless other causes--every day committed to helping a neighbor and making the community better. Dad always thought his experience as a private citizen helped make him a more effective public servant and a better governor.
After 8 years as Secretary of State, the time will be right for me to return to private life, to gather new ideas and experiences and a fresh perspective. But my commitment to public service won't stop, because I know the challenges facing our country can't be solved in Washington or Jefferson City alone. It will take ideas, energy and the daily commitment and determination of all of us.
So I plan to stay engaged and involved. And I ask you to do the same. For me, that could include running for elected office again, but it will certainly mean speaking out and working hard for the values we share and the candidates who stand up for them.
My term as Secretary of State continues for another 15 months. During that time, my terrific staff and I will stay focused on providing the type of outstanding service Missourians expect and deserve.