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Kander launches bus tour, while Blunt prepares to head out on his own

Jason Kander skipped Philadelphia to travel the roads of Missouri. The incumbent he's challenging, Sen. Roy Blunt, will travel  next week.
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio
Jason Kander skipped Philadelphia to travel the roads of Missouri. The incumbent he's challenging, Sen. Roy Blunt, will travel next week.

On two points, Missouri’s two major candidates for the U.S. Senate seem to agree:

  • Skip your presidential convention.
  • Hit the road in a campaign bus.

Democratic candidate Jason Kander, currently Missouri’s secretary of state, launched on Monday a bus tour of 50 towns. His first stop was on the edge of the grounds of the Gateway Arch.
The Republican he hopes to replace, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, will head out on his own bus next week.

Neither man has a serious opponent in next week’s primary.

Kander’s theme for his eight-day road trip is the lack of action by Congress before it left on a seven-week recess.

Kander said he was particularly concerned about Congress’ failure to earmark more money on battling the mosquito-spread Zika virus, which can cause serious birth defects and the lack of resolution on how to handle the waste at the Bridgeton/West Lake landfills.

Kander, a military veteran, then blasted Congress for failing to “upgrade the authorization for the use of military force’’ against ISIS.

Kander was joined by St. Louis License Collector Mavis Thompson and state Sen. Jill Schupp, D- Creve Coeur.

Credit Courtesy of Blunt campaign
U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt at a rally this spring.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican, is launching his bus tour next week. Called the “More Jobs, Less Government Bus Tour,” the trip will highlight “his work to rein in an out-of-control federal government that is stifling opportunities for families.”

A Blunt spokeswoman noted that he’d announced his plans for a bus tour before Kander did.

Although neither man has/will attend his party’s convention, each has pledged his support for his party’s nominee.

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.