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Boyd trying again for House seat

Friday, September 6, 2013

“America’s Got Talent” winner Neal E. Boyd of Sikeston, Mo., strikes an operatic pose in front of Southeast Missouri State University’s Academic Hall in 2005. Boyd is running for a Missouri House seat in the 149th District.
(Southeast Missourian file)
SIKESTON, Mo. -- Less than a year ago, Neal E. Boyd was in an election fight for a seat in the Missouri House of Representatives. And now, he announced Thursday, he is ready to try it again.

"This time will be a very different challenge," Boyd, a Sikeston native and the 2008 winner of "America's Got Talent" television talent contest, said in a news release.

Boyd, a Republican, was easily defeated by Democratic incumbent Steve Hodges last time around, who garnered 66 percent of the vote in November's election for the 149th District.

But next year is another chance for Boyd to take the seat. Hodges is term-limited, preventing him from running for re-election. No Democrats have publicly announced interest in the seat, and no other Republicans have indicated an intent to run for the district, meaning no primary is set.

If Boyd were to win a contested primary and the general election in 2014, Republicans would hold seats in every Southeast Missouri district if all the current state representatives were re-elected or replaced by someone from their party. The 149th is the only district in the region still held by a Democrat.

The district's boundaries include a significant portion of Mississippi County, a small area of Scott County (including about half of Sikeston), all of New Madrid County and the northern part of Pemiscot County.

A focus for both candidates in the last race was job creation and poverty, because the 149th is one of the poorest districts in the state. Again during his announcement Thursday, Boyd immediately hit on that topic.

"We have many challenges in this district, but having grown up here, I believe in the potential of Southeast Missouri and our citizens," he said. "I believe we will overcome this severe poverty crisis with fresh ideas and new opportunities for jobs."

As of Thursday, no fundraising figures for Boyd had been reported to the Missouri Ethics Commission.

His past political experience includes working in the campaigns and district offices of several local Republican officeholders. He also served on two statewide workforce boards through gubernatorial appointments.

Boyd also sought to replace Rep. Ellen Brandom, a Sikeston Republican who left office for the state Senate. But Boyd dropped out of original 160th District race, citing health issues.

Boyd co-owns an insurance company, but is best known for his opera singing, for which he has given performances locally and nationally and won "America's Got Talent."



Pertinent address:

Sikeston, MO

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This guy needs to stick to singing that is his profession.

-- Posted by swampeastmissouri on Fri, Sep 6, 2013, at 7:01 AM

He has a beautiful voice and is so talented but how can this poor man walk into the house of representatives. They will have to find a special seat for him because he is so huge. I feel so sorry for him because he seems to be an awfully nice young man! The last time I saw him was in March at a wedding he had sung at and he could barely walk. I hope he wins though! God bless him!

-- Posted by Spinning on Fri, Sep 6, 2013, at 7:24 AM

swampeastmissouri, I have seen Neal recently, last week in fact and he looks fantastic! And I've seen him walking in Sikeston. Word is he's lost over 100 pounds. Saw him on the news the other night and he looks really good and healthier. I don't think he would run again if he didn't feel up to it. I just want him around to hear his beautiful voice. He is just an inspiration to our area!

-- Posted by newsguy74 on Fri, Sep 6, 2013, at 11:07 AM

What a joke! Your no politician Neal. Get a better plan cause this ain't it!

-- Posted by GREYWOLF on Fri, Sep 6, 2013, at 12:51 PM

It's been five years since he won AGT and what has he done since? Look at what Carrie Underwood has done in the same amount of time. He wants his song to be the official Missouri anthem, and what better way to promote it than from inside the capital?

We don't need an anthem, and we sure don't need someone with ulterior motives in the house.

-- Posted by malan on Fri, Sep 6, 2013, at 2:06 PM

I'm so glad he lost 100 pounds. That is wonderful! His health is what concerned me and not his politics!

-- Posted by Spinning on Fri, Sep 6, 2013, at 3:22 PM

Losing that much weight is inspiring. Being a singer does not give him any qualification as a politician. I hope the republican party can dig up a more suitable candidate.

-- Posted by concernedforourcounty on Sun, Sep 8, 2013, at 11:12 AM

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