A national tea party group has endorsed former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman in Missouri's Republican U.S. Senate primary. But numerous Missouri tea party groups say they are not taking sides in the race.
The Tea Party Express cited Steelman's conservative economic record and past experience in office while saying Thursday that she would be the best candidate to take on Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill in the November election.
Other prominent Republicans in the race include U.S. Rep. Todd Akin and businessman John Brunner. Both also have highlighted their conservative credentials.
The Tea Party Express is a political action committee based in Sacramento, Calif.
A coalition of 17 Missouri tea party groups released a statement Thursday stressing that they had not endorsed anyone in the Senate race.