JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - Ed Martin, a candidate for U.S. Congress, has decided to leave that race and instead run for Missouri attorney general.

Martin, a Republican, made the announcement on his campaign website Thursday.

The former chief of staff to Gov. Matt Blunt in 2006 -- and who once led a team in taking on disgraced former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich -- says he wants to restore the Attorney General's Office to one that "respects the rule of law" and "represents a check on state government, not a check mark for liberal politics and policies."

Martin contends current Attorney General Chris Koster, a Republican-turned-Democrat, has acted as President Barack Obama's lawyer, not the people's attorney general.

"Over the past three years, I've watched President Obama and the federal government impose their will on we the people of Missouri beginning with ObamaCare," he said in a statement. "We Missourians voted to stop ObamaCare, yet Attorney General Koster recently stated publicly that, 'the act of the Legislature to create the exchange is not compelling a person, employer or health care provider to participate in a health exchange.'

"However, once the exchanges are set up, the government can penalize those who choose not to purchase health care."

Martin argues that Koster has failed to lead on other important issues, including job creation, illegal immigration and voter fraud.

"Chris Koster's complacency, while troubling, pales in comparison to the 'pay to play' mentality of him and his corrupt office," he said.

"Koster has filled his campaign coffers to the brim with contributions from law firms competing to work on major lawsuits that state lawyers don't handle."

Martin, a graduate of St. Louis University School of Law, also recently started an online initiative called Stop MObamacare in hopes of stopping the implementation of the federal health care law in Missouri.

Missouri's U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, a fellow Republican, is one of dozens who have already come out in support of Martin's run for attorney general.

"I've had the chance to work with Ed over the course of many years, and during that time, I've always been impressed by his unwavering commitment to smaller government and fiscal responsibility," Blunt said in a statement.

"Those values are especially important today, as our state and our nation continue to struggle to jumpstart private sector job creation and rein in out-of-control government spending."

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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