Missouri: Nodler to Announce Decision This Week

Posted May 22, 2009 at 5:36pm

This week, state Sen. Gary Nodler (R), who has twice before sought the 7th district seat, will announce his much-anticipated decision on whether to enter the already crowded race to replace Rep. Roy Blunt (R), who is running for Senate.

Nodler has two events scheduled Thursday, one in his hometown of Joplin and the other in Springfield, the 7th district’s largest city.

Nodler has been coy about his intentions, but it isn’t very often that a candidate schedules multiple events to announce that he is not getting into a race.

When Nodler last ran for the 7th district in 1996, Blunt won the GOP primary by 12 points. Since that loss, Nodler has gone on to win two state Senate races and is now chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee.

The only public poll that has been released on the race showed Nodler with a double-digit lead over several of the early GOP candidates.

Other Republican candidates in the race are Greene County prosecuting attorney Darrell Moore, auctioneer Billy Long, state Sen. Jack Goodman and Iraq War veteran Jeff Wisdom. Several other local elected officials are also being mentioned.

The 7th district is staunchly conservative territory that voted for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) last year by nearly 30 points, so the real race to replace Blunt will be the Republican primary.