Roy Blunt was born in Niangua, Mo., and now lives in Strafford near Springfield. He earned a bachelor's degree from Southwest Baptist University and a master's degree from what is now called Missouri State University.
Blunt was a high school teacher, and then served as Greene County clerk from 1973 to 1985. He was elected secretary of state in 1984 and served two terms before losing a race for Missouri governor in 1992. He also served as president of Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar.
He was elected to Congress in 1996 and won election to the Senate in 2010.
Blunt married his second wife, Abigail, in 2003, and they adopted a child from Russia in 2006. He has three children from a previous marriage.
Roy Blunt won election to the U.S. Senate in 2010 and has quickly undertaken some Republican leadership roles.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney turned to Blunt to head up his efforts of building support among U.S. Senate and House members before states began holding primaries and caucuses. In December 2011, Blunt also was chosen by fellow Senate Republicans to serve as vice chairman of the GOP conference, the fifth-most senior position in the party's caucus.
Blunt has long been a key player among Republicans in Washington. He is a former Republican House whip, whose rapid rise was aided by former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. Blunt was an active supporter of DeLay's "K Street Project," which pressured lobbyists to fund GOP activities and hire Republicans. Blunt lost to John Boehner of Ohio in a GOP vote for majority leader in 2006 and resigned as whip after Republican losses in the 2008 elections.
Blunt helped negotiate and rally votes — while still minority whip — for the financial bailout package proposed by the White House in the fall of 2008. His work on the bank bailout bill was cited repeatedly in his 2010 Senate race by his Democratic opponent, Robin Carnahan. But that didn't hurt Blunt. He easily won election to the seat being vacated by retiring GOP Sen. Kit Bond by linking Carnahan to the policies of President Barack Obama.
Blunt voted against the 2009 approximately $800 billion economic stimulus package signed into law by Obama and against the 2010 health care reform bill. He also opposed the cap-and-trade climate legislation passed by the House, saying it would raise costs for Missouri's heavily coal-dependent electricity consumers.
He said the June 2012 Supreme Court decision regarding the 2010 health care legislation only answered the question of whether the law was constitutional, not whether it was sound, affordable policy.
"This decision does not change the fact that ObamaCare will lead to higher health care premiums, increased federal spending, and greater uncertainty for small business owners nationwide," he said. "That's why Congress must repeal this deeply flawed law in its entirety and replace it with thoughtful, common-sense reforms that put patients and doctors in control of health care — not Washington bureaucrats."
In August 2012, Blunt tried to persuade GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin to drop out of the race against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill after Akin made inflammatory remarks about rape and pregnancy. Blunt issued a joint statement on behalf of himself and all of Missouri's still-living former Republican senators. It was to no avail, as Akin remained in the race.
A tireless campaigner, Blunt touted the fact that he visited every Missouri county during the 2010 campaign. He repeated the traveling feat during his first 15 months as senator.
In January 2012, Blunt underwent surgery to have a coronary stent implanted after experiencing shortness of breath while on a 10-county tour. Blunt also had surgery in 2002 to remove his left kidney because it had a cancerous cystic mass. He had surgery to remove his prostate in 2003.
Blunt served two terms as Missouri secretary of state before making an unsuccessful bid for governor in 1992. One of his sons, Matt, later served as secretary of state and then served as Missouri governor from 2005 to 2009.
Committee Assignments: Commerce, Science, and Transportation; Appropriations; Rules and Administration; Select Intelligence
American Conservative Union Rating: 70
Americans for Democratic Action Rating: 20
Roy Blunt is not up for re-election in 2014.
(Last updated by The Associated Press on August 7, 2014.)