State Senator Chuck Purgason told the KY3 Political Notebook Monday night that he'll officially launch his campaign for U.S. Senate this Thursday, setting up a GOP primary match-up against Congressman Roy Blunt.
"People are just not satisfied with the direction we're going, the leadership we've had," said Purgason, in an interview when reached late Monday night.
Asked why he's launching a longshot challenge to Blunt, Purgason said: "I think they had their opportunity when they controlled the House, the Senate and the Presidency and it seemed to be business as usual. And it's not that they were just in charge. He was in leadership."
Purgason, who just began his second term in the State Senate, plans to kick-off his campaign on Thursday at the Ozarks Cafe in West Plains. A 2:00 p.m. news conference is scheduled. Purgason said his campaign launch will include charts that show how the deficit exploded under Republican leadership in Washington. "We can't continue to run up the credit card," he said.
"I think that there is a strong anti-Washington sentiment across the state," Purgason said. "People don't blame Democrats versus Republicans as much as they blame Washington. I think we learned that in the (Kenny) Hulshof race, it was Washington values vs. Missouri values."
Purgason, who plans to run as the fiscal conservative in the race, noted that he opposed most of the 2010 budget because it was "balanced on federal money." "It's set us up for fiscal disaster. We shouldn't have used federal money. We should've reduced ongoing expenses, because we're going to pay for it this next year," he said.
Purgason of Caulfield said he hasn't begun soliciting fundraising commitments but is in the process of filing the appropriate paperwork with the Federal Election Commission.
Asked about how he'll overcome Blunt's tremendous fundraising advantage: "An incumbent's going to need more money than I will to explain what they've been doing in Washington."
Asked about the consolidation of support Blunt has received through endorsements from elected officials: "The endorsements don't bother me. We've looked it up, between all of them there's hundreds of years of government experience in those endorsements."
Purgason's Senate district encompasses seven counties in south central Missouri.