Everyone in St. Louis knows Ed Martin. In 2010, he rose to prominence as a Tea Party darling in the Missouri District 3 Congressional race that he narrowly lost to incumbent Russ Carnahan (yes, one of THOSE Carnahans). Since then, he has remained a fixture in the St. Louis Tea Party Coalition - and a point of contention for many others involved with the group.
In early 2011, following a redistricting that eliminated Missouri's 3rd Congressional District, Martin announced his intentions to challenge Democrat Claire McCaskill for her US Senate seat in 2012. His decision was made in the wake of an announcement from former Senator Jim Talent (who lost the seat to McCaskill in 2006) that he would not be entering the race, choosing instead to remain in his position with The Heritage Foundation. (Talent is currently working as an adviser for the Romney Presidential campaign.)
Just four months after Martin began his Senatorial campaign, another announcement gummed his game. Long time Missouri District 2 Representative Todd Akin threw his hat in the ring, joining the campaign to unseat Clair McCaskill. Within days of Akin's campaign kickoff, Martin made a new announcement of his own: he would be dropping out of the Senate race and instead be seeking Akin's old seat.
The Missouri District 2 race, specifically the battle between Ed Martin and fellow Republican candidate Ambassador Ann Wagner, quickly became epic enough to be blamed for the recent schism within the St Louis Tea Party Coalition. Though that particular race only facilitated the problems already festering within, it became the tipping point for many involved.
But even that division seems now to be ireelevant, based on the whims of a mercurial candidate, since Ed Martin has changed course once again. This morning's press releases have him nailed down as a 2012 candidate for Missouri Attorney General.
But Missouri should be asking a couple of questions of Mr. Martin:
First, why has he never attempted to mount a campaign in his home district? Missouri District 1 has been struggling, strangling under Democrat control since 1949. The people in his own neighborhood are drowning under the weight of increased unemployment, and he chooses to step out on them to represent others.
Second, can we expect him to stay in the Attorney General's race if another, shinier candidate steps into the ring?