Springfield played host to several Republican victory speeches Tuesday night, including two candidates for statewide office and another two for U.S. Congress.
Republican nominees for Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, U.S. House District 7 Billy Long and U.S Senate Roy Blunt thanked supporters from the stage at Classic Rock Coffee after convincing victories.
“We’ve been way too focused under [President] Obama on what the country should look like 20 years from now. Let me just tell ya, the country will be a lot stronger 20 years from now if we get more focused on whether people will have good jobs next year,” said Blunt.
Blunt begins a 100-stop bus tour Wednesday morning, with scheduled appearances in Mt. Vernon, Cassville and Shell Knob. His democratic challenger in November will be current Missouri Secretary Jason Kander, who recently concluded his own bus tour across the state.
U.S. Rep. Billy Long, who is seeking his fourth term in the House, credited Tuesday’s primary victory to constituent relationships.
“I’ve been there five and a half years, and I think that the more people you help over that time frame, the more people that are out there telling the neighbor, ‘Hey, I had a problem. I went to two or three people couldn’t get it solved. I went to Billy Long’s office and they really helped me.”
Long, who says he doesn’t focus too much on campaigning, received 62 percent of the vote despite seven primary challengers. He’ll face Democrat Genevieve (Gen) Williams in November.
In the battle for party representative for Missouri Secretary of State, Jay Ashcroft defeated his closest contender, State Sen. Will Kraus, by a nearly 27 percent margin. The St. Louis attorney and engineer has been a strong proponent of voter ID legislation.
“We need people of competence, of character and conviction to turn that office around and unleash the potential of the people of the state of Missouri. And I’m glad to be a part of that with your help,” said Ashcroft.
In November he'll face Democrat Robin Smith, who on Tuesday easily won her first primary.
Across town at Metropolitan Grill, Republican candidate for Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley thanked supporters for their party’s nomination. The University of Missouri law professor defeated State Sen. Kurt Schafer of Columbia and will face former Cass County prosecutor Teresa Hensley, the democratic opponent.