SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — As the shadows lengthened across Phelps Grove Park and the aroma of barbecued ribs wafted through the trees, Roy Blunt glad-handed his way through the Greene County Republican Party’s big pre-primary picnic, just as he has done before every big election since 1972, the year before he won an appointment to his first political office.
That was more than a decade before Lucas Case was born. But the 22-year-old theater manager from nearby Branson is volunteering to help make his longtime congressman Missouri’s next senator in what he sees as an epic race between “two political dynasties.”
A day later in a St. Louis suburb, Democrat Robin Carnahan climbed atop a pickup to deliver a stump speech — just as her grandfather, both parents and her brother did before her. “This is what we talked about around the kitchen table, politics and public service,” former U.S. senator Jean Carnahan, Robin’s mother, said about her children’s affinity for campaigning. “It’s just second nature to them.”
Blunt and Robin Carnahan, Missouri’s secretary of State, have two of the best-known last names in the state and are heavy favorites today to win their party’s nominations for the U.S. Senate. Their much-anticipated November showdown is a battle between two families that represent generations of political power.