Missouri Republicans gather for pig roast, discuss 2010 election

Sunday, June 28, 2009
U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt speaks at the GOP Pig Roast Saturday at Cape Girardeau County Park South. Blunt is a candidate for the U.S. Senate seat held by the retiring Sen. Kit Bond. (Fred Lynch)

Prominent Missouri Republicans at a local event Saturday said the upcoming 2010 election will be the most important in several decades.

"This is the most important election of our lifetime," said Lloyd Smith, a Southeast Missouri native and former chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson who was appointed as director of the state party in February. He was speaking to a large crowd at the county Republican Party's GOP Pig Roast at Cape County Park.

Smith was one of several speakers on a list that included Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, state Sen. Jason Crowell and state representatives Scott Lipke, Clint Tracy and Billy Pat Wright.

Smith said the 2010 election will define the shape of Missouri politics for a decade, with 41 Republican seats in the legislature up for grabs and the redrawing of legislative districts following the election.

Smith also stressed the need to elect Blunt to the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Kit Bond, who decided not to run for re-election next year. The southwest Missouri congressman declared his candidacy and spoke to political audiences around the state in February. On the Democratic side, Secretary of State Robin Carnahan has declared her candidacy.

Blunt, on the heels of endorsements from John Ashcroft and Kinder, attacked the Democrats on what he called an economically crippling energy and labor policy, attempts by the Obama administration to change the health-care industry and a weak foreign policy. A vote for Carnahan would be like a vote for "her friends that are pro-abortion, or anti-Second Amendment, or environmental extremists," Blunt said.

"Cape County is critically important in what it's going to take to get this done," Blunt said of the 2010 election.

msanders@semissourian.com

388-3652

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