Sen. Chuck Purgason (left) talks to a participant at Lincoln Days

Sen. Chuck Purgason (left) talks to a participant at Lincoln Days

State Senator Chuck Purgason is swimming upstream; and he knows it.

Purgason is one of nine Republicans to file in the Republican primary to replace retiring Senator Christopher “Kit” Bond. The most prominent name in the field is southwest Missouri Congressman Roy Blunt. Blunt drove to Lincoln Days in a beautifully painted RV and won endorsements throughout the weekend. Purgason drove up from Caulfield in his car and walked the halls, handing out bumper stickers and spreading his message.

“That the Republican Party had better get back to its base, had better return to a party of fiscal responsibility and actually pass a brighter future on to our children and our grandchildren,” Purgason tells the Missourinet.

Purgason says he got mixed reactions from Republicans at Lincoln Days held at the St. Charles Convention Center.

“You know, I’ve had people that (stated) how dare I run against the Blunt family and people that silently say, ‘We’re glad you’re in the race, because it gives us a good option,’” Purgason says.

Purgason says he’s counting on those keeping silent right now.

“The silent majority is starting to wake up,” Purgason says. “Hopefully we can get involved in a perfect storm brewing out there, that we can begin the process this year of finally breaking that Washington elite that has controlled our party for so long.”

Purgason won election to the Missouri House in 1996, the year Blunt first won election to Congress. Purgason won election to the Missouri Senate in 2004 and won re-election in 2008. His underdog status is nowhere more apparent than in fundraising. While Blunt has amassed nearly $3 million, Purgason has raised slightly more than $4,000. As for the RV, Purgason says he plans to tour the state this summer in his 1999 Ford F-150 pick-up with 165,000 miles. He is considering calling it the “Pick Up Jobs for Missouri” tour.

AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [1 min MP3]