Blunt, Smith re-elected to party leadership position in Congress

  

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A few Republicans representing Missourians in the U.S. Congress have been elected to leadership roles within their caucus.

On Wednesday, Sen. Roy Blunt was re-elected to Senate leadership, this time as Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee. Rep. Jason Smith, who is in his fifth year in the House, was re-elected as the House Republican Conference Secretary.

Congressman Jason Smith speaking to a farmer.

“It’s really exciting,” said Smith. “For my conference — after we lost the majority and there in less leadership positions — to elect me to one, as the youngest member of the leadership team, it is a great honor. I’m glad that the conference decided to trust the seven of us to help bring back the majority in two years.”

Smith was elected to the U.S. House in 2013 during a special election, he was re-elected in 2014, 2016, and 2018. He represents Missouri’s Eighth Congressional District.

He served for several years in the Missouri General Assembly were he was elected as one of the youngest Speaker Pro Tem’s in the state’s history. He owns a small family farm in Salem, Missouri, that was originally started by his great grandfather.

His bid for conference secretary was unopposed. At 38-years-old, he is the youngest on the leadership team. 

He said he plans to push for the policies that rural Missouri stands behind, such as limited government, personal freedom, and protecting the Constitution. Smith noted he expects to spend time defending President Donald Trump from the now-majority party and protecting the policies that Republicans have pushed.

“It’s impressive that Missouri is one of the few state’s that has a member of leadership in the House and a member of leadership in the Senate. That speaks volumes when you are talking about 535 members of Congress,” Smith noted.

Blunt was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010 and was re-elected in 2016. He was elected to Senate leadership his first year.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt speaks ahead of President Donal Trump's arrival at a campaign rally (ALISHA SHURR/THE MISSOURI TIMES.)
U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt speaks ahead of President Donal Trump’s arrival at a campaign rally (ALISHA SHURR/THE MISSOURI TIMES.)

“It’s an honor to continue serving in the Republican leadership in the Senate and I thank my colleagues for their support,” said Blunt. “Working together and with the Trump administration, we have enacted policies to strengthen our economy, rebuild the military, keep our promises to veterans, and help hardworking families get ahead. I look forward to working with our entire conference to continue advancing policies that reflect the priorities of the people we serve.”

Blunt served in the U.S. House of Representatives for seven terms.

Before serving in Congress, he was a history teacher, a county official, and, in 1984, became the first Republican elected as Missouri’s Secretary of State in more than 50 years. Senator Blunt also served four years as the president of Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri.

The Missouri praised both members of Congress for their re-election to leadership.

The Executive Director of the Missouri Republican Party, Ray Bozarth, called Blunt’s promotion “great news” for Missouri, the country, and farmers, business owners, and working families. He noted Blunt has advocated for President Donald Trump’s priorities including tax cuts and reducing regulations.

“…Senator Blunt has established himself as one of the go-to members of the Republican Senate Conference when it comes to depth of policy knowledge and getting things done,” said Bozarth.

Chris Nuelle, spokesperson for the Missouri Republican Party, called Smith a great asset for the people of Missouri noting his work to “improve the lives of the people he represents is unprecedented.”

“Representative Smith was one of the architects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which has put more money back in the pockets of people across the country and allowed businesses to reinvest in their employees,” said Nuelle. “Representative Smith has also been a fierce advocate for President Trump’s America First agenda, which has put the American economy back on track and improved our standing in the world.”

Alisha Shurr is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine. She joined the Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University. Contact Alisha at alisha@themissouritimes.com.