Former Missouri House Speaker Catherine Hanaway announced that she’s running for governor in 2016. The Republican from suburban St. Louis said a year ago that she was considering a bid, but her announcement did catch political insiders off guard because it was so early. Candidate filing has yet to begin for this fall’s elections, eight months away.
Hanaway also had snagged her first high-profile endorsement: U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin, a longtime friend and ally. Allies of state Auditor Tom Schweich have touted him as a likely GOP contender for governor in 2016, but he has sought to downplay such talk until after the November elections.
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced months ago that he intended to run for governor in 2016, and Hanaway said the Democrat’s early start led to her early announcement. “We can no longer sit idly by as the de-facto Democrat nominee continues to raise money and build his organization,’’ she said.