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Politically Speaking: Rep. Luetkemeyer On Political Past, GOP Role And Odd Re-Election Opponents

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio's Chris McDaniel, Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum talk about the week’s politics.  

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This week the Politically Speaking crew (minus Chris McDaniel) welcomes U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer to the show. The St. Elizabeth Republican’s sprawling district extends into St. Charles, Franklin, Lincoln and Jefferson counties, as well as mid-Missouri outposts, such as Jefferson City and the Lake of the Ozarks.

Luetkemeyer’s elections have been relatively low-key since he won the wild 2008 election for the now abolished 9th congressional district. The former bank examiner is a member of the House Financial Services Committee, which regulates the nation’s banking and financial industries.

During the show, Luetkemeyer said:

  • His defeat in the 2004 GOP primary for state treasurer gave him vital experience and name recognition for his 2008 congressional contest. Luetkemeyer is one of a few major political figures – such as U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., U.S. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Gov. Jay Nixon – who won a higher office after previously losing a statewide race.
  • Running in the 9th congressional district contest in 2008 was akin to being put “through the meat grinder." Luetkemeyer credits an aggressive TV push in the St. Louis media market as one reason he defeated then-state Rep. Judy Baker, D-Columbia, in the general election.
  • Besides his role on the Financial Services Committee, he’s been heavily involved in river issues. The goal is to maintain adequate funding for levees and flood control.    
  • He’s part of a group of congressmen fighting EPA regulations against wood-burning stoves. Luetkemeyer noted that he has a wood-burning stove inside his residence.
  • He didn’t have much to say about the fact that a husband-wife duo – Leonard Steinman and Velma Steinman – have filed to run against him this cycle. He noted for $100, “anybody can file” to run for a Missouri-based office. (He also discussed his political future, including rumblings that he may be looking statewide in 2016.)

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter@jmannies

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter@jrosenbaum

Follow Blaine Luetkemeyer on Twitter@RepBlainePress

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.