JEFFERSON CITY -Speaker of the House Catherine Hanaway, R- St. Louis County, announced Tuesday her candidacy in the race for secretary of state in the 2004 elections.
Citing her experience as a securities lawyer in St. Louis and time served in the state legislature, Hanaway pledged that as secretary of state she would create jobs for all Missourians who want jobs and restore the integrity of the election process.
"If you don't have companies it's hard to create jobs," Hanaway said. "I will transmit information back out to business as to what we can do for them as a state and to the legislature about what policies need to be changed to create jobs."
Hanaway has said she worked to improve the election process as speaker of the house but says she could do more as secretary of state.
"With my experience I have the ability to bring easier means and fairer means of voting to the state and to work with the county clerks to improve our voting system," she said.
Hanaway said she has been eyeing the secretary of state position for over a decade and that her decision to run was spurred by term limitations.
"I can only run one more time for the House and I'd be term limited out in 2006 at which point the office of secretary of state would not be open," Hanaway said.
Hanaway's announcement came after most of the candidates running in the 2004 election announcements because of her duties as speaker of the house.
"I wanted to make sure that the House is going to continue to function well and that I would have all the time necessary to focus on my duties as speaker," she said.
Hanaway said she will not step down from the speaker's position and is looking forward to what she believes will be a difficult legislative session.
Robin Carnahan, lawyer and daughter of former Gov. Mel Carnahan and former Sen. Jean Carnahan, will oppose her on the Democratic ticket.
Carnahan has not held office before, but says she sees the office of secretary of state as one "that demands fairness, accuracy and integrity."
Former Secretary of State Bekki Cook and former U.S. Sen. Thomas Eagleton have endorsed Carnahan.
Carnahan says she is centering her campaign around creating jobs by encouraging the growth of small businesses, protecting investors from companies like Enron "who don't play by the rules" and updating the voting process by integrating more reliable technology.
"It is important to get the election process right to prevent fraud and make Missourians confident that there will be a fair counting of the votes," Carnahan said.
Carnahan has worked with countries around the world, such as Bosnia and the Ukraine, in establishing democratic voting systems in conjunction with the National Democratic Institute.
Carnahan says she learned a lot about government from her parents.
"They taught me that if we have a leader who is willing to work for the people, one person really can make a difference," she said. "I would like to take my turn to be that person."