Ellen Dillon, an instructor in Southeast Missouri State University's Department of Communications, abandoned her plans to run for the state Senate on Friday after learning she would have to take a leave of absence to campaign. Dillon, a Democrat, was seeking her party's nomination to run against incumbent state Sen. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau, in the six-county 27th District.
According to university policies, Dillon would have been required to resign or take an unpaid leave of absence if she filed for an office that is considered full time, such as the Senate seat.
In announcing her decision to end the campaign, Dillon said she would remain active in Democratic Party politics and aim for a Senate bid in 2012. Continuing the campaign would mean she had no income or insurance and "leave my students and SEMO colleagues in the communications department in an untenable position." With Dillon's withdrawal, Democrats have no identified candidate to challenge Crowell as he seeks re-election.