By Troy Treasure, NEMOnews Media Group
Evan Glasgow was going about his business Monday, March 8 at Studio 106.
That’s where the Knox County Presiding Commissioner heard that two-term Missouri Republican U.S. Senator Roy Blunt had announced he would not seek re-election in 2022.
“I didn’t see that coming. It’s a high-stress job. I commend him for it,” Glasgow told the Sentinel on Friday. “I wish more congressional leaders would do that.
“When you’re in office too long, you can become complacent or jaded,” he added.
District 4 state representative Greg Sharpe (R-Ewing) stated all he had heard was speculation about Blunt’s intentions.
“I certainly respect, at his age (71), the decision to retire from public service,” Sharpe said. “He has certainly been a friend of agriculture. He was raised on a dairy farm. He was always friendly to me.”
Sharpe said Blunt’s first state-wide election victory was against his uncle, Gary, for Secretary of State in 1984. Gary Sharpe, a Democrat, was at one time superintendent of Marion County R-II in Philadelphia.
Blunt won as Republicans rode the momentum of President Reagan’s landslide re-election victory against former vice-president Walter Mondale.
“They actually got along good,” Greg Sharpe said of his uncle and Blunt.
State Senator Cindy O’Laughlin indicated she was somewhat surprised by Blunt’s decision.
“Roy has been the consummate politician and I don’t believe I’ve known anyone who could outwork him,” O’Laughlin said in an email Sunday.
“He was particularly interested in mental health issues and, in my mind, knew his way around Washington well enough he could get things done where others might fail,” she added. “I thank him for his many years of service and wish him well in his future endeavors.”
U.S. Congressman Sam Graves asserted Blunt’s public service places him among the elite in state political history.
“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.
For his part, Blunt stated 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,” Blunt said.