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GOP Reeling From Blunt's Resignation | Missouri Political News Service

GOP Reeling From Blunt’s Resignation

January 24th, 2008 by mopns · No Comments

By: Josh Kraushaar

“This was a big surprise to everyone, including me,” said a senior adviser to Blunt. “We were running on a pretty robust plan for reelection. He would have been in a very tight race, but I certainly thought there was a pathway for him to beat Jay Nixon.”

Blunt’s sudden decision also threatens to shake up the state’s House delegation, with two House Republicans actively considering their own bids for the governorship.

Rep. Kenny Hulshof is considered to be highly interested in entering the governor’s race, according to several Republican operatives. He mulled running for governor before deferring to Blunt in 2004.

Hulshof has been looking for jobs outside Congress recently, having been a finalist for an opening for the presidency at his alma mater, University of Missouri, which passed him over for the position in May 2007.

“Kenny would be a great candidate,” said a source close to Blunt. “He’s making a lot of calls and making a lot of inquiries.”

Rep. Jo Ann Emerson is also a possible candidate for the governorship, and her maverick tendencies in Congress would potentially make her an appealing general election candidate.

If Hulshof and Emerson ran, they would open up two additional seats in eastern Missouri at a time when Republicans are already trying to limit the number of House retirements. In Missouri, candidates cannot run for governor and for reelection to Congress at the same time.

Both Hulshof’s and Emerson’s seats are in Republican-leaning parts of eastern Missouri, and Republicans would be favored to hold the districts.

But Democrats already have a candidate running against Hulshof, state Rep. Judy Baker, and if he left the House, several other Democrats could jump in the race. Read more…


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Tags: Decision '08 · Matt Blunt · Rep. Jo Ann Emerson · Rep. Kenny Hulshof

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