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By Troy Treasure, NEMONews Media Group
Missouri U.S. Senator Roy Blunt’s announcement Monday, March 8 to not seek a third term in 2022 came as a surprise to District 3 State Representative Danny Busick (R-Newtown).
U.S. Congressman Sam Graves asserted Blunt’s public service places him among the elite in state political history.
“I hadn’t anticipated him not running for re-election,” Busick said Thursday morning, March 11 during a legislative session break in Jefferson City.
“But with the current conditions in Washington being what they are,” Busick added, “maybe it was time to get out.”
“Senator Roy Blunt is the single most influential political leader in Missouri this century and the father of the modern Republican Party in Missouri,” Graves (R-Tarkio) said in a press release.
Blunt, 71, said at a press conference in Springfield he felt good about his re-election chances.
“What I felt less good about (was) whether I wanted to go 26 years in the Congress or 32 years in the Congress and eliminate the other things I might get a chance to do when I leave the Congress,” he said.
Blunt defeated Democrat challenger Jason Kander in the 2016 senate race. According to the Sullivan County Clerk’s Office, Blunt received 1,662 votes county-wide to Kander’s 735.
Blunt won all but one of Sullivan County’s 14 precincts. Kander edged Blunt 24-22 in Pleasant Hill-Reger. Blunt was particularly strong in Green City-Pennville (286-98) and W. Polk-Asbury (232-113). Of 335 absentee ballots cast, Blunt received 234 votes.
“One thing he worked really hard on was the East Locust Creek Reservoir. It was 20, maybe 30 years in the making,” Busick said of Blunt. “Senator (Christopher) Bond handed it off to him.
“He was instrumental in getting funding,” Busick continued. “Without him, the project probably doesn’t happen.”
Busick also indicated Blunt was a friend of agriculture.
“He supported that business,” Busick said. “Any bills with agriculture, he was very involved.”
Attempts to reach District 12 State Senator and Majority Caucus Chairman Dan Hegeman (R-Cosby) for comment were unsuccessful.