Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder announced at Saturday night's Cape Girardeau County Lincoln Day event that Neal E. Boyd has decided to seek election as a Republican to the newly drawn 149th District. Boyd is the first Republican so far to announce his intent to seek the seat. Democratic state Rep. Steve Hodges is the only other person to announce a run for the seat.
Hodges' current district is split into parts of three districts under the new House district map drawn up after the 2010 census. Part of the district falls in the new 149th.
Boyd has long been active in local politics and is familiar with many prominent local Republicans. Kinder called Boyd a "friend" when introducing him.
Boyd is probably best know for winning the NBC show "America's Got Talent" and its $1 million prize in 2008. Since then he's become a familiar face to many around Southeast Missouri. He announced a run for the state House previously last fall, but decided against the run after about two months.
Boyd and Hodges were not available for comment when called late Sunday.