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Carl Edwards coy about report of U.S. Senate run in 2018

Carl Edwards explains that he's "stepping away" from NASCAR for a number of reasons, including being satisfied with his career, staying healthy and his interests beyond the track.

Carl Edwards didn’t rule out a possible run for the U.S. Senate next year in a text Wednesday to The Associated Press.

Terry Smith, a political science professor at Columbia (Missouri) College, speculated in a Wednesday column for KBIA’s Talking Politics that Edwards would challenge U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat representing Missouri, next year.

In a text to the AP, Edwards wrote: “I believe firmly in the principles that the U.S. was founded upon. If I could help, I definitely would consider it.”

The AP reported that Edwards stated he had no such plans at the moment to challenge McCaskill, who is in her second term.

Edwards, 37, shocked those in NASCAR by announcing Jan. 11 that he was “stepping away” from the sport. He cited health, satisfaction with his career and desire for other pursuits.

During his news conference that day, he was asked about any political aspirations, saying: “I’m not prepared right now to participate in any public office or anything, but I am very open to helping that cause and helping the cause of liberty and freedom and what it is that America is about.’’

Edwards twice raced for the championship in the season’s final race. He lost the 2011 title to Tony Stewart on a tiebreaker. He crashed in the final laps of last fall’s season finale while leading a late restart. Edwards won 28 Cup races since entering the series in 2004.

McCaskill led a hearing in May 2014 on the Army National Guard’s sports-related marketing and sponsorships with organizations such as NASCAR and IndyCar. In Aug. 2014, the Army National Guard announced it would curtail its spending on sports-related marketing and recruitment with organizations such as NASCAR and IndyCar.

McCaskill announced last fall she would seek a third term. She was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006.

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