BLUNT STEPS ASIDE

Gov. Matt Blunt announced Tuesday, Jan. 22 via YouTube that he will not seek a second term in the 2008 election.

Gov. Matt Blunt announced Tuesday, Jan. 22 via YouTube that he will not seek a second term in the 2008 election.

Alexandra Nicolas

Jefferson City, Mo. -The first major announcement of the 2008 legislative session came in a YouTube video.

Via the internet video hosting site, Gov. Matt Blunt made the announcement that he will not run for a second term in the upcoming election. Blunt cited a “lack of vision,” as his motivation.

“When you spend more time in your speeches talking about what you’ve done, it’s time to reconsider,” he said.

Blunt also said he wishes to spend more time with his family and doesn’t plan to pursue higher office but was vague about his plans for the future.

“I’m going to worry about 2008. I’ll worry about 2009 in 2009,” he said.

Though Blunt said he had no mission for a second term, he plans to continue with his goals for the remainder of this term.

“He believes you shouldn’t run just for the power and the fame, you must have the ‘fire in the belly’ for it, so to speak, and I agree with him 100 percent,” said Rep. Marilyn Ruestman. (R- Joplin)

Blunt’s primary goals for this session are tightening immigration law, allocating more money for education and providing affordable health insurance.

The announcement spurred speculation on who will receive the Republican nomination, as well as possibilities for more Democratic candidates. In addition to Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder and Attorney General Jay Nixon, Treasurer Sarah Steelman has mentioned a possible interest in running and Speaker of the House Rod Jetton (R-Marble Hill) and Congressmen Kenny Hulshof (R-MO) have been mentioned multiple times by members of the Republican Party as possible gubernatorial candidates.

Nixon, who has campaigned extensively against Blunt said his decision not to run will not affect the Democratic campaign.

“Just because the Governor decided not to run, does not mean 400,000 people who have had their health care cut, have had it restored,” Nixon said.

According to Sen. Gary Nodler (R- Joplin) potential candidates for other offices has been a poplar topic among members of the Republican Party in the 24 hours following Blunt’s announcement.

“I’m not a candidate for governor this year, while other offices are potentially worth considering,” Nodler said.