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New Missouri secretary of state following in dad’s footsteps

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (BP)–Matt Blunt was 18 years old when he watched his father, Roy Blunt, put a hand on a Bible to be sworn in for a second term as Missouri’s secretary of state.

Twelve years later, Matt, a member of Bass Chapel in Strafford, put his hand on the same Bible and was sworn in to his father’s former position.

Matt represents the third generation in his family to serve the state as an elected official. “The Bible says that we should be the salt of the earth, and that is what we should try to do in every aspect of our lives,” he said.

U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, R.-Strafford, said the experience of seeing his son follow in his footsteps as Missouri secretary of state earlier this year has brought him a lot of joy. “I wouldn’t have ever imagined 16 years ago [when the senior Blunt was first sworn in] that Matt would become the next Republican secretary of state,” he said. “I’m confident he will do it well.”

Blunt credits his wife, Roseann, with their son’s positive view of public service.

“None of our children think politics is a terrible thing, and a large part of that is because of her support,” he said. “Decisions like these are dramatically affected by the family environment.”

Roy and Roseann Blunt are members of Second Baptist Church, Springfield.

Congressman Blunt said he enjoyed seeing the family working together during Matt’s campaign.

“I think the best part was seeing [younger son] Andy and [daughter] Amy all working together to help their brother,” he said. “It was a family effort.”

Andy, 24, put his law school education at the University of Missouri aside for a year to serve as Matt’s campaign manager. For Andy, it was a natural decision.

“There was no hesitation,” Andy said. “It was a great opportunity. I got to talk to Matt every day for a year. This was something that I will never have an opportunity to do again. It was a lot of fun.”

Now that the campaign is over and Andy has returned to law school, Matt knows he will face many challenges in his new role.

He said one of the toughest challenges will be not having his brother around as much as he did during the campaign. “It definitely brought us closer together.”

Matt’s wife, Melanie, also helped in the campaign, as did Andy’s wife, Jill.

Matt acknowledged that another of his challenges will be to help restore confidence in the election process following the election fiasco in Florida last year. A bipartisan commission is meeting to prepare a comprehensive report on Missouri’s election laws.

“We want to make sure that what happened in Florida never happens in Missouri,” he said.

Matt said his faith has helped get him where he is today. “Scripture is a good source of wisdom,” he noted. “I think that anything that is a challenge, faith provides a good foundation when you need a safe harbor.”
(BP) low-res photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: BLUNT FAMILY.

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  • Shawn Hendricks