Watch excerpts of Sen. Chuck Purgason's kick-off speech for U.S. Senate above.
Below: Ross Perot-style, Purgason outlines the growing deficit under Republican rule, and outlines a list of promises if elected U.S. Senator
WATCH THE KY3 NEWS @ 10 REPORT HERE
He hoped to avoid it, and did everything to try, but Congressman Roy Blunt now officially has a primary opponent in his 2010 campaign for U.S. Senate. State Sen. Chuck Purgason, R-Caulfield, announced a longshot bid for U.S. Senate on Thursday in front of rural working class conservatives at a mom and pop restaurant in West Plains.
"I believe in the principles of the Republican Party but the people we have elected have not fulfilled those principles," Purgason said, standing alongside his wife and two children, which he called his "campaign staff."
Purgason, who is in his second term in representing seven south central Ozarks counties in Jefferson City, made the case that he's the true fiscal conservative in the race to replace Sen. Kit Bond.
Channeling images of Ross Perot, Purgason used a homemade chart -- held up by his wife -- to demonstrate the deficits run up under Republican control. It was no coincidence that Purgason was referring to a time period when Blunt served in U.S. House leadership.
"I think that the contrast right now is that he's been in Washington a longtime, and I haven't. And the direction that Washington is going people aren't happy with," Purgason said in an interview in the Ozark Cafe after his kickoff speech.
Purgason's bid is unquestionably the longest of long shots but his appeal with disillusioned Republicans could force Blunt to answer his concerns about fiscal issues and aid Democratic talking points.